August 30, 2010

Hocutt's versatility on display in opener

Killeen (Texas) Ellison defensive tackle Devon Hocutt needed only one game to justify his coach's decision to move him from the middle of the defense, to the offensive backfield. In Ellison's season opener against Killeen High, Hocutt rushed for 134 yards on 28 attempts, and reached the endzone 3 times. It was the first time he carried the ball in a game since his freshman season.

"Playing defense is new to me. I've played running back all of my life. I started out playing soccer when I was a kid and that's my first love. I started playing tennis after that and I've just always been a guy that has loved sports," Hocutt said. "I've been lucky enough to have the athleticism it takes to play all of those at a pretty well. Running back is what I've played since first grade, though, when I first started playing football."

"Defense came to me my freshman year," he said. "They asked me to move up to varsity to play starting linebacker. I hadn't ever played it in my life. They helped me along, though, and told me what I needed to know. I guess I ended up being pretty good at it because that's when I started getting my scholarship offers. My first three years of high school I was the starting linebacker, and our kicker and punter. This year is the first time they've moved me to running back and I'm starting there now. I haven't touched anything defensively. They want me to concentrate on carrying the ball this year."

Hocutt's versatility will leave him with a lot of options when he gets to the next level. The opportunity to play early will be a large factor in making the decision the coaches have apparently left up to him. "There has been talk of offense right now, but they've made it my decision. The coaches at Tech have told me that they don't want to just decide on one position because that may not be what I want to play, or what's best for me to play," he said. "They're listing me right now as an athlete. I can play defensive tackle, defensive end, or linebacker. They also don't have a fullback on the roster right now, so I might even do that once I get there."

"I'd love to play linebacker, but I know it will be different at the next level. I've been talking with Coach James Willis and he said that a spot for a true freshman linebacker would be wide open next year. I'd really like the opportunity to start as a freshman and make an impact. So if that situation remains the same, it would be a definitely possibility."

Regardless of where the 5-foot-11, 258-pounder lines up next year, it looks to be a foregone conclusion that he'll do so in the scarlet and black. "There have been a lot of other schools still coming at me, but I my recruitment is basically over. I'm a Red Raider forever now, and that's just how it's going to be."

Hocutt committed to Texas Tech in early March. He's also been shown interest by Baylor, Cal, Michigan, North Carolina, NC State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Rice, TCU, and Texas.

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