Young quarterback succeeding against all odds
HOUSTON – Calder Hodge is a 13-year-old quarterback putting in time in the offseason to win the starting job at his new school.
Football has been a big part of his family.
“I’ve had it in my blood for all my life. My dad and my grandpa they were quarterbacks,” Hodge said.
He even dreams of one day taking his football career to the highest level.
“Go to the league. Go play for the Texans. Bring them home a Super Bowl,” Hodge said.
Unlike most kids his age, Hodge became a double amputee as a toddler. After being born with limb deficiencies, he had surgery to remove both his legs. Incredibly, he has not allowed that to slow him down one bit. With prosthetics, he is living his passion and playing the sport he loves.
“Going into my freshman year almost, and I’m playing the No. 1 quarterback on my team. Just transferred to another school, so got to win the job there,” Hodge said.
Three years ago, Hodge decided he wanted to take his game to the next level. He started working with one of the most respected football trainers in the country -- Rischad Whitfield aka “Footwork King.”
“It’s taken my game to heights that, if I wasn’t working out here, I don’t think I could reach them. He’s pushed my limits so far,” Hodge said.
Whitfield said the progress he’s seen in Hodge has been unimaginable.
“Maybe four months after training, it was 'boom, boom, boom,' flipping his hips, changing directions, the whole nine. It was crazy to see,” Whitfield said.
Despite all the progress, there have still been doubters in Hodge’s life.
“There’s still people that want me to sit on the sidelines and think that other people can do it better. But I have to prove them wrong on a day-to-day basis," Hodge said.
Hodge describes his confidence as the Baker Mayfield type confidence and says that it carries over into all areas of his life.
“I went from the kid that wanted to sit at the back of the room and stay quiet to, now, I’m the kid that everyone goes to for advice or if they want to talk to somebody,” he said.
Hodge’s goal is to play football at a college nearby so he can stay close to his parents. He plans to get a degree in history and his ultimate goal is to become the first double amputee to play in the NFL.
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