Dick Harmon: Cody Hoffman's legacy will be how he filled BYU's offensive void
Another standout figure has been the competition. Most of Hoffman’s career came after BYU left the Mountain West Conference. While BYU’s foray into independence took awhile to beef up the schedules, Hoffman has faced the likes of Texas (twice), Florida State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Washington, TCU, Mississippi, Boise State, Oregon State and Boise State.
With Hoffman still to face Idaho State, Notre Dame, Nevada and an opponent in a bowl game, Hoffman’s best game has been that record-breaking effort at New Mexico State last year. Sure, it was a questionable Aggie team that was dragging at the end of the season, but remember that Hoffman had just lost Nelson to injury. Nelson’s replacement, James Lark, got his first career start.
That day all of Hoffman’s superior skills as a BYU receiver were on display: his size, fight and dominance. Remember, not only was he breaking in Lark, he suffered a separated shoulder the previous week at San Jose State that would require surgery in the postseason. That day in Las Cruces, N.M., Hoffman had 12 catches for 182 yards and five touchdowns. Under those circumstances, it was very impressive indeed.
And so it was last Saturday in Camp Randall Stadium, against Wisconsin, a team that was a touchdown away from being equal with possible national champion Ohio State. Hoffman caught seven passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. With little tight end help — again — and route mate Mitch Matthews injured, Hoffman was targeted by his quarterback and the Badger defense mugged him every time he left the line of scrimmage. Hoffman simply went over the century mark for the 17th time.
An orphan with a mission.
That singularity is Hoffman’s legacy: the fact that his career has been spent with a bull's-eye on his back. This is a guy who has caught passes in 39 consecutive games — almost half of them for more than a hundred yards.
This stands out to me as the most significant thing Hoffman has done with these numbers as his days in Provo come to an end.
When Hoffman receives his senior blanket and walks down the tunnel for the last time, his departure will mean more than numbers. It will completely be about the void he filled.
Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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