You say there's a better young quarterback in the country than LSU's Tommy Hodson? Bite your tongue.
Do that to remind yourself of how Hodson came of age as a freshman last year. It was 1½ minutes into the Tigers' fifth game when a Kentucky lineman planted his helmet under Hodson's chin, driving the quarterback's teeth through his tongue. When Hodson returned to the huddle five stitches later, Kentucky led 7-0 with five minutes left in the half. Though he could barely bark signals, Hodson sparked two TD drives in 66 seconds, and the Tigers won 25-16. LSU never looked back, taking the SEC title, while Hodson finished No. 6 in the country in passing efficiency.
Until the Kentucky game not all Tiger fans believed in the redshirt from Mathews, La. "When I first got here I was a quiet, shy guy and everyone doubted if I could take the leadership role," Hodson says. "It took that game to get everybody to believe in me."
Hodson's credibility was greatly enhanced by All-America Wendell Davis, whose 80 catches for 1,244 yards and 11 TDs acccounted for 46%, 55% and 58% of Hodson's totals, respectively. When he's not throwing to Davis, Hodson will be handing off to sophomore tailback Harvey Williams—a name to remember at Heisman time in '89.
In 34-year-old newcomer Mike Archer the Tigers have Division I-A's youngest head coach. The former defensive coordinator replaces Bill Arnsparger, who had been the division's oldest. Archer's poise and enthusiasm won him the job over a former NFL coach, a present NFL assistant, and another I-A head coach, and if he can transfer those qualities to the troops, they should weather a tough schedule well.
With three more seasons to go, there could easily be a Heisman in Williams's future.