Brigham Young wide receiver and Del Norte High graduate Cody Hoffman exited the 2012 season with the eyes of the National Football League upon him.
Cody Hoffman (with ball) caught 100 passes for 1,248 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012, his redshirt junior season, for the Cougars. Courtesy of Mark Philbrick / BYU Photo
As a redshirt junior, he caught 100 passes for 1,248 yards and 11 touchdowns, starting all 13 games for the Cougars. In a 23-6 BYU victory over San Diego State in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 30, Hoffman caught 10 passes for 114 yards and earned Offensive MVP honors.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder had the option to forego his final year of college eligibility and turn professional, with the lucre that accompanies such a decision — if he so chose.
Hoffman discussed matters with his parents, Rick and Cindy Hoffman of Crescent City, and a couple of confidants as he mulled his options.
“It’s always been my childhood dream to go to NFL,” Hoffman told the Triplicate in an interview this week. “So many possibilities that could happen in my senior year (such as injuries) ... At that standpoint, you’re all for it.
“At the same time, relationships that I’ve created in college are one of a kind. I’d never have friends like them again. At the same time, I want to say I graduated (from BYU). I made it.
“I want to cherish my last year of college. I feel like it’s been such a grind since I’ve been here. The feeling of accomplishment and graduation is what’s big right there.”
So Hoffman elected to stay in Provo and continue his path toward a bachelor’s degree while continuing to hone his craft at wide receiver.
In January, Hoffman underwent surgery on his right shoulder to repair what he described as a “nagging injury” that has affected him for the past two years.
“I finally just decided that I needed it repaired so I could be 100 percent,” he said.
Once Hoffman returns to full-contact practices, he will have to adjust to a new offensive coaching staff.
Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall fired offensive coordinator Brandon Doman, wide receivers coach Ben Cahoon and running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Joe DuPaix in the offseason after BYU finished 60th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools in offensive output. (The Cougars finished 2012 with an 8-5 record; four of those losses were by six points or fewer.)
Robert Anae, BYU’s offensive coordinator for Hoffman’s first year in the program, was hired away from Arizona to his old position. Former UTEP wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Guy Holliday was hired to coach the Cougars’ receivers.
In studying the revamped BYU playbook, Hoffman said that much of the scheme and terminology is familiar but “there are little changes you have to pick up on.”
Beyond digesting the playbook, Hoffman intends to improve upon his raw speed and the precision with which he runs his routes for the 2013 season. If he catches 19 passes and accrues 541 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions, Hoffman will become the Cougars’ career leader in those three categories — in effect, the best wide receiver in school history.
Those numbers are nice, but of little concern, to Hoffman. (“People might hear about it, they tell me where I’m sitting, what I need,” he said.)
Some numbers do mean more than others. Hoffman considered his receiving yardage total from 2012 — the first time in his career he had broken 1,000 yards in a season — “one of the major milestones I wanted to reach in my life.”
“I felt like I had a pretty good season last year,” he said. “I’m gonna take that momentum and bring it into next season.”