Cody Hoffman might be a candidate to be BYU's best football player this year, but he is kind of a tough guy to get to know. I've interviewed the redshirt junior at least a dozen times the past three years, and have really never been able to get him to say much. He's courteous and polite, but just doesn't like to talk about himself.
Hoffman has improved a lot in that regard over the past few years, but for the most recent feature story on him we both decided I ought to talk to one of his parents to get a rundown on his childhood. I used much of my telephone interview with Richard Hoffman, Cody's father, as a basis for that story, which you can read here.
Actually, I did get Hoffman to give us a glimpse of his personality when I asked him what about Provo takes some getting used to for a smalltown kid from Crescent City, Calif. His answer might surprise you.
"The drivers," he said. "I can't get over that -- just how crazy the drivers are here. I always have to pay attention when I am on the road. I swear, I see an accident everywhere I go, every day. It just makes me want to shake my head."
If you follow Hoffman on Twitter, you know his best friends on the football team are receiver Ross Apo, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and quarterback Riley Nelson. Hoffman and Nelson celebrated the ending of preseason camp last Saturday by attending the Real Salt Lake soccer game together at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. Nelson and Hoffman lived together for a year and became close friends, and their chemistry is evident on the football field. And Hoffman said Nelson helped him adjust to the nuances of life in Provo.
"It also helps me that, like me, Kyle and Ross aren't from Utah," Hoffman said. "They didn't know what to expect, either. Maybe they knew a little more than I did. So it is nice being able to have guys that I can relate to off the field. On the field, they are great players and I look up to them."
Hoffman will face a lot of scrutiny this year as Nelson's go-to guy, but he says he's ready for it.
"I actually like the idea. It just shows that my hard work has been paying off so far, and I want to keep being known as that guy, and carry it into the season," he said. "I just know that if I play within myself and my abilities, I will be just fine, and will be able to do what I did last year, if not better.
"Everywhere you go, there are going to be those doubters," he continued. "You just want to prove them wrong. You never get complacent with your job. You can always get hurt, or someone can take your spot, so you have to come out ready to compete every single day."
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