Out of Central Lafourche High School in Mathews, Louisiana, Tom Hodson arrived at Louisiana State University and became more than a contributor right away. As a freshman, he was a First-Team All-SEC selection, something he would do three more times and becoming the only player in school history to receive the honor four times.
Tommy Hodson LSU Quarterback
As a freshman, the former LSU quarterback led the conference in attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns, and passer rating. He passed for 2,261 yards and 19 touchdowns, which set the pace for the rest of his career.
As a four-year starter under head coach Mike Archer, Hodson passed for 2,000 yards in each season and finished his career with 9,115 passing yards and 69 touchdowns. Each of those numbers not only set the record for SEC quarterbacks, they also destroyed the records that were both held by former Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell.
When Bell graduated from Florida, he held the SEC records with 7,585 passing yards and 56 touchdowns. Hodson torched those numbers and they still hold up pretty strongly against the pass-heavy offenses of today at 17th for yards and 19th for touchdowns.
Many of his school records only hold up since he started for four seasons. His single-season and game stats are not at the top of many lists, but he shows up in many different spots. His 1989 game against Tennessee is still one of the best in school history with 438 yards.
Maybe the biggest moment for Hodson while playing in Baton Rouge came against the Auburn Tigers during his junior season in 1988.
That fourth-ranked Auburn team led 6-0 with less than two minutes in the game. Hodson then led a drive and threw an 11-yard, game-winning touchdown pass on fourth down to Eddie Fuller which caused Tiger Stadium to explode with excitement. The crowd’s reaction was so powerful, a seismograph registered an earthquake, giving the game its nickname, The Earthquake Game.
The former starting quarterback is one of the best football players in school history. He helped the Tigers win two SEC Championships, was a Heisman Trophy finalist and is a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame inductee.
Before Joe Burrow came along and broke NCAA records, Hodson was the gold standard.
Maybe a good reason for Hodson’s lack of recognition now was his failure to continue his success in the National Football League.
Tommy Hodson Patriots
After being drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 1990 NFL Draft, Hodson never really dominated like he did on Saturday nights in Baton Rouge. He played for New England for three seasons before stops with the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and New Orleans Saints
His most playing time in the NFL came as a rookie, when he started six games and completed 85 of 156 pass attempts for 968 yards, four touchdowns, and five interceptions. He started just six more games throughout the rest of his career, serving mostly as a backup quarterback for the next five seasons.
So while he didn’t make big playoff runs or win a Super Bowl ring, it doesn’t change how great he was in college.
This post was originally published on October 9, 2019.