SHAY HODGE'S ODYSSEY: FROM ALL-SEC TO THE NFL & DEION SMITH, ROUTE PRECISION ACADEMY'S OWNER SPEAKS



By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips

SHAY HODGE CAREER (2006-2010):

22 TDs

2,646 yards

173 receptions 

(15.3 yards per catch)

-FIRST TEAM ALL SEC

-NFL WITH WASHINGTON & CINCY

-LED SEC IN RECEIVING YARDS (2009)

-1ST WR TO CATCH 1,000 YARDS 

(OLE MISS HISTORY)


LONN: Did you ever consider LSU when you were recruited, Shay? 


SHAY: LSU didn’t recruit me.


LONN: That's shocking, why do you think?


SHAY: I was very underrated coming out and only went to 2 camps.


LONN: When you signed for Ole Miss what was it like playing for Coach Ed Orgeron? Did he recruit you as well?



SHAY: Playing for Coach O was fun but hard. He was in his beginning stages of being a head coach. He was very tough on us, but personally I always liked him. He always really liked me so we had a great relationship. Coach knows talent lol if you could play you was his dawg. Yes he recruited me and that’s the reason I went to Ole Miss. 


LONN: What are some of your favorite Coach Orgeron memories from your time with him at Ole Miss?



SHAY: There's so many favorite memories. Before a game against Alabama, he ripped our special teams coach's shirt off to get us hyped before the game. Just all his fiery moments, the man would have you ready to run through a wall, idk how he knows how to get guys going but that’s a real special gift he has. 


LONN: Shay, when was the first moment you felt you had the ability to become an SEC powerhouse and later play in the NFL? 



SHAY: My sophomore year after having a decent freshman season. I caught my first touchdown in the 2nd game of the year and knew then I could be that dominant player i was in high school. Later on that season against the eventual national champs LSU I had my best game of the year with 90 plus yards against a very talented defense. I knew I was posed to break out the following year beyond anyone else thoughts. Self confidence was through the roof.


LONN: You were apart of the 2010 Washington Football Team / Redskins (name at that time), what was the atmosphere of the organization like? 


SHAY: It was cool. I met some cool guys that I watched play a lot on tv Donovan McNabb, Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, Joey Galloway and other big time guys. I actually was only there during training camp, landing with the Bengals after training camp were I stuck for 2 years playing with Chad Johnson & Terrell Owens my first year. So exciting and learned so much. 



LONN: What did you think about Dan Snyder? Ever interact with him?


SHAY: Never really met Synder other than when I was released if I’m not mistaken. 


LONN: Which accomplishments mean the most to you?


SHAY: (I became the) 1st 1,000 receiver in Ole Miss history. Broke the single season record with 1,135 yds which led the entire SEC in 2009, 2,646 was the career record at the time...


LONN: What was your favorite moment against LSU? 



SHAY: My Senior year against Patrick Peterson and that great defense. Not all on him but I had a great night: 7 Rec 117 yds 1 TD, really 2 (one got called back on a spectacular jump ball play. 

The HB pass from Dexter McCluster was special when we won in Oxford. We beat LSU my junior and senior year. Junior year was pretty dominant 31-13, those were good times and uncommon because LSU is dominant every single year...so I cherish those moments.


LONN: Maaan you torched Pat P worse than Julio did that year man...(sorry Pat it's just...watching someone beat you is like seeing the Loch Ness monster)...


SHAY: Yup they noted that during our game vs them. I was a better route runner at that time than Julio.


LONN: Did you and Pat P talk trash? 


SHAY: We didn’t. Normally I would but he never said much so it was good clean competition


LONN: I was waiting for you to bring up those games Shay 😄 just waiting cause I was old enough to remember, absolutely, I remembered the name Shay Hodge for life after what you did to us 😄. Oh mercy! Shay, when you're working with a young receiver what are some of the aspects or mentalities from your own game you try and teach?


SHAY: (lol) Mindset, footwork (cadence), listening and applying. Hips, hard cuts such as a 90 degree cut and slant breaks to start off with. Stance and start of course is first no wasted movements and explode off the ball.



LONN: Are you acquainted with LSU's WR Coach Mickey Joseph?


SHAY: Yes! That’s my dawg!


LONN: So you're tight with Coach Mickey?? We actually were supposed to do an interview with him. Were you involved in Deion's recruitment as well?


SHAY: Yes! Of course. They’d never know Deion without me, I put them on him before everybody knew how good he really was because nobody believed me at first.


LONN: How could LSU not believe you about a kid like Deion?


SHAY: They did, but the other schools and recruiting services didn't.


LONN: That's the thing man, a lot of the "writers" who rank these kids never even played the game. And Deion was disrespected hardcore and still has been really when you actually watch what we can do


SHAY: Facts! Just be writing BS, I’ve always said that. It’s politics, I didn’t go through a service to get Deion ranked, coaches vouched about his talent and BOOM... he blew up.


LONN: So, Deion AND Dan are both blowing up for Jackson Academy as well as receiving offers from Mickey Joseph's LSU, what do you think about their success at this juncture?


SHAY: Proud of them. Had to get them back in the lab last Sunday, looks like it helped out. They are really good, really determined players.


LONN: They have learned so much from you, they've already got that pro mindset. 


SHAY: Dan still has a long way to go in that area.


LONN: Shay I love it, to do what you did in the SEC, in that era, against those secondaries, with the QBs you had is INSANE. When I watch your highlights, your profile reminds me of D.J Chark with how he never had a QB who made it easy, you were ALWAYS making the plays, these aren't 50/50 passes unless you guys were in the red zone, these were 20/80 passes you somehow pulled down. Do the young WRs you teach recognize that and understand just how much of a total G their teacher is???


SHAY: High praise 🙌🏾 and yeah they know, that’s one way I get through to them. They watched the videos and etc on YouTube. When a coach played it builds that much more respect toward the teacher from the peer.


LONN: And Shay those are gutty plays, was there anything in your young playing days that made you become that type of player (other than pure desire)??


SHAY: A lot of God given and wanting to be like Allen iverson growing up.


LONN: 😄 you know how much my family identifies with that?!?!? We ALL worked all summer so we could buy his newest shoes. So glad you brought him up: 2001 NBA Finals Game 1...what a night! 


SHAY: Yesssirr! That was my biggest influence and why I wore #3.


LONN: AI! My man!! So when did you start Route Precision Academy ?


SHAY: In 2018.... it’s still in the baby stages, it’s about to get huge soon.


LONN: i would say so, I think being able to point to your illustrious past as well as the players you're sending to Power 5 programs will pay off. Deion and Dan just got offers from one of the top 5 programs in the country (even if you're an LSU hater you must admit that placement). How does it feel to know what you're doing has an impact?




SHAY: You learn more from your failure than what you do well.  Set your intentions, Work hard for what you want and let the rest take care of itself. Football teaches you life.

WE WANNA THANK SHAY HODGE FOR SPEAKING TO US, SUPPORTING US ACTUALLY AND BEING A GREAT MENTOR & LEADER FOR COUNTLESS YOUNG MEN: 

IF YOU HAVE A SON WHO WANTS TO LEARN THE ART OF RECEIVING, SIGN HIM UP WITH THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS, ALL-SEC, NFL AND OLE MISS LEGEND SHAY HODGE CAN TAKE THEIR GAME TO NEW HEIGHTS:

CONTACT HIM HERE:

@shayhodge (on Twitter)


#BLACKLIVESMATTER

#TIGERSUNITED

#GEAUXTIGERS

by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips


SHOUTOUTS: Thank you to AD, Harold, Tony Two Bets, Jamer, Kort, Peggy, Jamie, Clayeth, Don C. Utah for the encouragement and love, you've been great friends and I thank & love you all!!

LAST BUT NEVER LEAST:

My wonderful mother

VALERIE PHILLIPS,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!

(originally published 9/25/2020)

27 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
  • White Facebook Icon

© 2020 by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN, Uninterrupted Writings Inc.