The Minnesota Vikings may have found their starting middle linebacker, as Gerald Hodges told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press that he has won the job.

"That's the way it's looking, yes sir," Hodges said when asked if he will be the starter on Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers, per the Pioneer Press. "I feel great. I feel excited."

Audie Cole and second-round rookie Eric Kendricks were also in contention for Minnesota's starting middle linebacker role. Kendricks still figures to see some playing time in the nickel and sub packages, but Hodges appears to be the best fit for the starting role in the base defense after the preseason.

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"The goal is just to help my team and do whatever the coaches need me to do to go out and get a victory," Hodges said of Monday's opener, via the Pioneer Press. "I'm excited to get this season going for the Minnesota Vikings."

Hodges, a fourth-round draft pick out of Penn State in 2013, is entering his third NFL season. Last year he played in 14 games with seven starts. He finished the season 66 tackles and seven pass defenses, including a 27-yard pick-six against the New York Jets in Week 14.

(h/t TwinCities.com)