Junior receiver Cody Hoffman is best known for reeling in touchdown passes for the BYU football team, but his teammates say that his electrifying skills are the opposite of his laid back personality.
“He’s just a guy who likes to relax, veg out and chill,” quarterback Riley Nelson said. “That’s why I like him so much”
Nelson, Hoffman’s former roommate, said Hoffman loves to play video games. Fellow wide receiver Ross Apo said Hoffman has a secret passion for skateboarding. Although Hoffman’s hobbies go under the public radar, his talent on the football field is thrusting him into the center of college football’s national stage.
Hoffman was recently named to the national watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, an honor given each year to the nation’s top wide receiver. Hoffman led the Cougars in all receiving categories last season, hauling in 61 receptions for 943 yards and 10 touchdowns. The California native also returned 36 kicks for 879 yards and another touchdown. His stellar sophomore season ended memorably as he snagged the game-winning catch on a fake spike in the final seconds of the Armed Forces Bowl against Tulsa. Hoffman’s play making ability is a major difference maker for the Cougar offense.
“Just to know that I can kind of put it out there and he’s going to make a play for me is nice,” Nelson said.
Hoffman starred for California’s Del Norte High School, totaling more that 1,000 receiving yards as a senior. Despite his impressive numbers, Hoffman was not highly recruited coming out of high school. Hoffman considered small programs like Sacramento State, but eventually chose to play at BYU.
“It’s a great school, great education and the football program has always been dominant,” Hoffman said. “So it was pretty much a no-brainer.”
Hoffman chose to come to BYU even though he is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hoffman knew the BYU experience would be unique, but says it has exceeded his expectations.
“The people are great here and I love being here,” Hoffman said. “It’s always just a great time. I just thought the people would really try to force religion on me (to) become LDS and try to make me do the things I don’t want to do just because I’m a minority, but it’s not like that at all.”
The 6-foot-4 inch receiver will team up with Apo and junior J.D. Falslev to form BYU’s receiving core this season. With no senior receivers on the roster, Hoffman will be called upon to help lead the Cougar offense.
“Cody is definitely not a vocal leader, but just goes out there and leads by example,” wide receivers coach Ben Cahoon said. “I know he takes pride in knowing his assignment and doing it right. That’s what you want as a coach.”
Hoffman figures to be Nelson’s top target this season. While national expectations are high, Hoffman has set a lofty goal of his own.
“My personal goal is to get 1,000 yards. I came close last year and it’s always been my goal and I think it’s just one step closer to making my dreams,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman will start his quest for 1,000 yards as the Cougars host Washington State in the season opener Aug. 30.