Reggie Hodges is a former Cleveland Browns punter. You might remember him for this thrilling 68-yard run on a fake punt.
Reggie Hodges is also now a Cleveland small business owner.
Last Friday the 32-year-old launched Pro Sports Performance, a training academy in Strongsville, Ohio. Known as PSP for short, the facility will focus on athlete specific training. A girl looking to improve her skills in volleyball will get a completely different training program than a cornerback looking to improve his speed. Sessions will have closer to 10 people as opposed to 25, allowing for more individual instruction.
Hodges' business partner, Jason Trusnik, is also a former teammate with the Browns and an Ohio native. He is currently playing linebacker with the Miami Dolphins. Because Hodges and Trusnik are actual professional athletes, they'll be able to do more than just improve the athletic skills of teenagers.
"We don't want to just teach kids how to lift weights, or get faster, but teach them integrity, focus and leadership," said Hodges. "You build character from the ground up. That's how you help kids change for the better."
Hodges and Trusnik hold each other in the highest regards. The pair met in 2008, during the New York Jets' training camp. Hodges remembers hearing coaches glow about this Trusnik kid from an unheard of D-III college Ohio Northern.
It was Trusnik's competitive spirit that forged a bond between the two early on. When Hodges miskicked a punt during a preseason game, Trusnik, still a rookie, gave him an earful on the sidelines.
"He goes, 'Hey man, we've got to have the kick right,'" Hodges said, rehashing the story. "That took guts for a rookie to say something. The next day during film, he apologized and said he gets a little intense sometimes. But that's how we get better as a team, I told him. I respected him after that."
After floating around the idea about a performance center for years, the two finally got serious about it last winter. Their website is named PSP-Ohio, in hopes that one day the performance center will spread throughout the state. Hodges will manage the day-to-day operation while Trusnik competes to firm his roster status with the Dolphins.
Hodges grew up in Illinois, went to college at Ball State in Indiana, but now calls Cleveland home.
"We want to do something special in this community," Hodges said. "We both love the Cleveland area and want to make an impact. For us, PSP was a no-brainer."