PITTSBURGH — Samford is not known as a quarterback hotbed, but in recent years, two quarterbacks that have gone through their doors have come to Pittsburgh. The obvious one is Devlin “Duck” Hodges, who became a folk hero of sorts in Pittsburgh after his ascent from rookie tryout quarterback to starter in the 2019 season. The other is newly drafted quarterback Chris Oladokun, who went through Samford but ended his career at South Dakota State.
Oladokun and Hodges are very familiar with one another. As fellow Samford quarterbacks, both of the guys have trusted one another and have routinely texted with one another for the past few years. Oladokun is a little familiar with the city of Pittsburgh just through the connection.
“Yeah, that’s my guy Duck, man,” Oladokun said at rookie minicamp. “He’s a Pittsburgh legend for sure.”
When Hodges was starting for the Steelers, Oladokun was paying close attention. Not only is he familiar with the run Hodges had in Pittsburgh, but Hodges told him all about it, too. It makes Oladokun have an interesting connection to Pittsburgh, and Oladokun knows a little bit of what it is like playing in Pittsburgh as a result.
“When he was out here, I would keep in touch with him every week,” Oladokun said. “I would always wish him good luck on the game. I actually picked him up on my fantasy team. He’s a great guy.”
Right after Oladokun was drafted, Hodges, who recently retired from pro football, reached out to offer some advice to Oladokun on the fans in Pittsburgh. The former Steelers quarterback had nothing but praises to sing about the organization that Oladokun would be walking into a few weeks later. That got Oladokun excited to come to play for the Steelers.
“He said he loved the fans and that they, the community there, really embraces football,” Oladokun said. “He said to put your head down and work. That’s all I can really do.”
Oladokun will try to take a similar path to the one Hodges took. There are three other quarterbacks on the roster, so there may not be a ton of preparation time for Oladokun. However, in the chances he will get, Oladokun is going to want to show something to earn the roster spot.