Wake Forest High School linebacker Darius Hodge has committed to Marshall.
Wake Forest athletics tweeted a picture of Hodge, wearing a Marshall hat and sweatshirt, Wednesday afternoon, after he signed his letter of intent.
Hodge had been an N.C. State commit since 2016. But an academic issue prevented Hodge (6-2, 248 pounds), ranked as the No. 13 player in the state by 247sports.com.
Hodge would likely have gone to a junior college to bring up his grades before he could play for the Wolfpack. At Marshall, however, he could sit out his freshman season and lose a year of eligibility while he brought up his grades.
The ACC does not allow its schools to accept non-qualifiers and Conference USA does.
Hodge was the second linebacker to decommit from N.C. State. Nick Smith, a three-star linebacker from Orlando, decommitted from N.C. State earlier this month. Smith announced he was going to Florida on Saturday.
NCAA rules prevent coaches from speaking about recruits before the player has signed. N.C. State coach Dave Doeren’s press conference was going on at the same time as Hodge’s at Wake Forest High School.
He was not asked about Hodge in particular.
When asked about the emotions of signing day, Doeren said it’s important to focus on who they have rather than who they don’t.
“The first thing that you talk about in recruiting is relationships,” Doeren said, “so sometimes you can get really close with the young man, particularly our position coaches and not get them and it hurts. Because you invested time, and sometimes two years in building a relationship. And you don’t get them, and it’s frustrating and it’s defeating, but then you move on.”
Hodge helped lead Wake Forest to a 4AA state championship this season. He was voted the game’s MVP after posting 17 tackles and two blocked punts in a 29-0 win over Greensboro Page.
Hodge was a force for Wake Forest this season. He had 136 tackles, nine sacks, eight interceptions, two forced fumbles and seven blocked punts. He was also named the North Carolina AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2016.