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ROOKIE SPOTLIGHT: Cody Hoffman

Posted Aug 6, 2014

During training camp, Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda will provide an in-depth look at the some of the rookies, both on and off the field. Today's spotlight is on Cody Hoffman.


REDSKINS ON TV: Don’t forget to catch all the action between the Washington Redskins and the New England Patriots at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on NBC-4 and Comcast SportsNet!

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Cody Hoffman brings more than just size with him to Washington – he brings a proven track record of making clutch, big-time catches at the college level.

The 6-foot-4 wide receiver -- who was signed by the Washington Redskins as a college free agent in May – is fresh off an incredible career at BYU. In four seasons, Hoffman logged 260 receptions for 3,612 yards and 33 touchdowns – all school records for a career.

During his junior season, he caught eight touchdown passes in the final three games, including five in a victory against New Mexico State.

Carrying that play over to the first two weeks of training camp, Hoffman believes he can change games in an instant.

“I bring a game changing ability,” Hoffman said when asked what he adds to the receiving corps. “I feel like I can change a game with one catch. Whether it's a long ball down the side or just making a guy miss over the middle and going for 20 extra yards, I feel like I can bring that to the table as well."

While the physical side of football remains the same, Hoffman admitted that the biggest adjustment he’s had so far is learning head coach Jay Gruden’s playbook. During his four seasons at BYU, he had the same playbook year after year.

"I've been studying the playbook,” Hoffman said. “In college, we always had a similar playbook every year so after my first year when I had it down I didn't really pay much attention to the film or anything because I knew everything. Now it's all a learning process and I've got to keep my head in the playbook off the field and be able to play faster on."

His Historic College Career
It isn’t every day at a player can say he holds three different records for a perennial top-25 contender, but Hoffman can.

It took him awhile to get going his freshman year, but he finished strong with 230 yards and five touchdowns in the final three games. He would improve his sophomore year statistically, nearly reaching 1,000 yards and recording 10 touchdown receptions.

His junior season, however, was his best as a Cougar.

Hoffman came out of the gate quickly, but absolutely exploded by season’s end. He recorded four-straight 100-plus-yard games and had that historic five-touchdown performance.

Flirting with the idea of leaving school early for the NFL Draft, Hoffman ultimately decided to stay for his senior season. While his choice resulted in a different path to the NFL, Hoffman is thankful for his chance at BYU and now with the Redskins.

“It was rough,” Hoffman admitted about not being selected in May. “After my junior year I could have went pretty high, but I decided to stay for my senior year and break all the records and such. And then just going and being undrafted -- it hurt at first. But at the end of the day it just makes me work harder.

“I figure the way I see it is I had the opportunity to choose where I wanted to go and I couldn't have picked a better organization than the Washington Redskins. I love it here, I love the team, so I think all in all it worked out."

Soaking Up Everything He Can
While Hoffman certainly has the physical tools to be successful in the NFL, he has yet to experience the intensity of game days or the constant grind for six months.

Veterans like Santana Moss and Pierre Garçon do, though.

Since signing with the Redskins, Hoffman has been using the duo as mentors to learn the intricacies of the NFL and how to keep your body fresh.

"I just ask them the little things,” Hoffman said. “Certainly Santana. I usually ask him 'How do you stay healthy for so long?' You know, he's been in the league for I think going on 14 years so there's got to be something he's doing that's helped him be successful for so long.”

As for Garçon, Hoffman’s been studying his elite route-running and how he gets out of his cuts quickly.

“With Pierre, I’ve been watching his route-running. He's a hard working dude and he's a student of the game. Little things like that help me become better."

Five W’s And One H

When did you realize the NFL was a possibility?
"I'd probably say my sophomore year in college. Coming into high school with only two scholarship offers, it didn't dawn on me that I had that potential. Then starting as a freshman at BYU and kept going, having one  great season after another my confidence just kind of built and I figured I could play after that."

What was it like having that five touchdown game your junior year?
"It was a good feeling. You know me and the quarterback, we were on point that game. Whether it was running little stick routes or long fades, it was just one of those games where everything was clicking."

Where do you go to unwind and relax?
"My parents’ house. You know, don't have any worries there, just kind of go and relax. I love spending time with my family and friends."

Why did you wear No. 2 in college?
"That's my favorite number, so I got lucky with that one."

Who is your favorite television character?
"I started getting into Dexter, so that’s probably my favorite."

How would you describe wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard?
"He's a great dude; he jokes around with us and keeps meetings fun. At the same time, he'll be serious and we'll strap down and get done what we need to get done."

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