Texas Christian University senior Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson has earned acclaim as an NFL-caliber cornerback entering this year’s draft. Some of you might see his last name and wonder, “Is he related to former Chicago Bulls three-point specialist Craig Hodges?” Or should we scoot past the first part of his hyphenated last name and focus instead on “Tomlinson”?
Could it be? Is Hodges-Tomlinson related to one of the most talented running backs of the last three decades, LaDainian Tomlinson?
Is Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson Related to LaDainian Tomlinson?
Yes! It’s true. Hodges-Tomlinson is the nephew of the all-time-great San Diego Charger (with a brief stint in New York with the Jets).
On the field, the similarities somewhat end there. The nephew is an exceptional cornerback listed at 5’8″ and 178 pounds, while the uncle was an exceptional running back clocked at (during his prime) 5’10” and 215 pounds.
The two seem pretty close, even beyond the normal blood ties that bind family members. In fact, it’s been reported that when Hodges-Tomlinson received offers to play college football for a few big-name schools, Texas Christian wasn’t one of them.
In his final two years at TCU, LaDainian Tomlinson racked up over 4,000+ rushing yards. He was, and still is, a legend there. And he wanted to make sure his alma mater didn’t overlook his nephew.
As the story goes, the elder called TCU head coach Gary Peterson and said, “Baylor has offered Tre and I would sure hate my nephew to be playing TCU the next four years at Baylor when he wants to come to TCU.”
Talk about a hard sell. And it wasn’t long before his nephew got the offer from TCU and started a career that would define his own legacy as one of college’s top cornerbacks.
Hodges-Tomlinson’s Impressive Career With TCU
Hodges-Tomlinson’s role has grown each year at Texas Christian. He saw action in four games as a freshman and then seven as a sophomore, combining for 34 tackles.
Beginning in his junior year, he started to showcase the talent that’s drawn significant interest from NFL teams. Hodges-Tomlinson’s pick-six in Week 5 helped put away Texas Tech, and he issued two tackles for a loss in a tough matchup against SMU, which finished the year at an impressive 8-4.
Hodges-Tomlinson took his game to the next level as a senior, racking up 50 tackles and three interceptions. His elite play netted him the coveted Jim Thorpe Award as college football’s top defensive back.
LaDainian Tomlinson’s Time With TCU
As alluded to above, LaDainian Tomlinson was truly an all-time great. As a freshman and sophomore at Texas Christian, he operated as the 1B backfield option alongside Basil Mitchell, forming a terrific one-two punch for a squad that went 1-10 in Tomlinson’s first year and then 7-5 in his second campaign.
Mitchell then headed to the NFL, leaving the backfield alone for Tomlinson. To put some perspective on what he went on to do, college running backs have accumulated 1,950+ rushing yards in a season only 42 times. Tomlinson did it in his junior and senior campaigns in only 23 combined games — one of only four running backs to accomplish this twice. During that stretch, he averaged more than 6.0 yards per carry while scoring 20+ times in back-to-back years.
His college accolades are as long as this article and include first-team All-American honors, Doak Walker Award winner, Jim Brown Trophy winner, and College Football Hall of Fame inductee.