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Who Is Lainey Wilson's Boyfriend? All About Devlin 'Duck' Hodges

Lainey Wilson and Devlin "Duck" Hodges stepped out publicly for the first time at the ACM Awards in May 2023

<p>Gilbert Flores/Billboard via Getty</p>

Gilbert Flores/Billboard via Getty

Lainey Wilson is head over boots in love with boyfriend Devlin "Duck" Hodges. The former NFL player-turned-real estate agent has been a pillar of support for Wilson as she navigates her newfound stardom in country music.

The couple began dating in 2021 but didn’t go public with their relationship until two years later when Hodges accompanied Wilson to the ACM Awards in May 2023. Their red carpet debut doubled as one of the night’s most talked-about moments.

Speaking to host Bobby Bones about their private relationship, Wilson said Hodges is “a good dude” who has “been around for a while.” She added, "But I'll tell you, he is good as gold. Supports me, would never come in between anything that I'm trying to do.”

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So, who is Lainey Wilson’s boyfriend? Here’s everything to know about Devlin "Duck" Hodges and his relationship with the country music singer.

His college football coach gave him the nickname "Duck"

<p>Bobby Ellis/Getty</p> Former NFL star Devlin Hodges playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019.

Bobby Ellis/Getty

Former NFL star Devlin Hodges playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019.

Hodges, who affectionately goes by “Duck,” received his nickname while playing football at Samford University in Alabama. During an appearance on The Bobby Bones Show, Wilson shared the story of how her boyfriend’s moniker came to be.

"His college football coach was like, 'You're one of the best quarterbacks I've ever worked with. And you remind me a lot of one of my favorite quarterbacks I got to work with years ago, and we called him Duck,’ ” Wilson said. “And so he and the team just kind of started calling him Duck.”

Coincidently, it also turned out that Hodges was an avid duck hunter, too.

In May 2024, Hodges will be inducted into Samford University's Athletics Hall of Fame.

"Thank you football, from the time I was 5 years old, I’ve always loved you," he wrote on Instagram following his alma mater's announcement in December 2023.

He is a former NFL player

<p>Katharine Lotze/Getty</p> Devlin Hodges warming up before his first career NFL start with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019.

Katharine Lotze/Getty

Devlin Hodges warming up before his first career NFL start with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019.

After college, Hodges went on to play professional football for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was with the team for two years before joining the Los Angeles Rams in 2021. Similar to Wilson, Hodges understands the importance of a hard work ethic, which is one of the many shared characteristics that first brought them together.

"He knows what it’s like chasing a dream because he's done that for himself,” Wilson said on The Bobby Bones Show. "He was in the NFL. He tried out literally for the Steelers and made it and had a really great run with them. Went out to LA Rams and did that.”

Hodges later signed a three-year contract with the Canadian Football League team Ottawa Redblacks as a starting quarterback. But in April 2022, the team announced his retirement from the sport.

“I’d like to thank the REDBLACKS for bringing me to Ottawa and giving me this opportunity. I have gained a lot of respect for the CFL and its fans — particularly RNation!" he said in a statement. "I’m excited to see what the future holds but I know that the next chapter in my life is going to be fun.”

He works in real estate

Since retiring from the sport, Hodges has taken a keen interest in real estate. In November 2022, he joined the team at Mossy Oak Properties in Louisiana. An outdoorsman and hunter himself, Hodges specializes in helping clients find their dream “hunting camps, hunting land [and] farm land,” per his profile.

He and Wilson started dating in 2021

The pair began seeing each other in 2021 after meeting through mutual friends in Nashville. In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Wilson recalled rolling up at a dance hall and saloon for their first date that was known for its cheap drinks and live music.

“We went to this old place called Silverados, and it had free beer and wine from 5 to 10 p.m.,” she said. “I was like, ‘This boy likes to ball on a budget too. This is gonna work out.’ "

The two immediately hit it off and have been together ever since, but refrained from publicizing their romance for over two years. “I said, ‘We gonna see if you’re in it for the right reasons,’ ” Wilson told PEOPLE of deciding to stay mum about their relationship for so long.

“Turns out, he is,” she continued, adding, "it feels really good to talk about it.”

He and Wilson made their red carpet debut in 2023

<p>SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty</p> Former pro athlete Devlin Hodges and country singer Lainey Wilson attend the 58th ACM Awards together in May 2023.

SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty

Former pro athlete Devlin Hodges and country singer Lainey Wilson attend the 58th ACM Awards together in May 2023.

The couple confirmed the status of their romance when they walked the red carpet of the 58th ACM Awards hand in hand. The singer-songwriter was nominated for six different categories that night, four of which she won.

Wilson looked stunning in an all-green ensemble consisting of a cape and her signature bell bottoms that she accented with chunky jewelry and a green-brimmed hat. Meanwhile, Hodges stepped out in a blue suit that he paired with a bolo tie and cream cowboy hat.

Wilson and Hodges posed for photos, interlocked in one another’s embrace. A rep for Wilson confirmed to PEOPLE that the pair were, indeed, dating.

Albeit, speculation about their romance sparked weeks prior when Wilson was spotted wearing Hodges’ Steelers jersey while performing in Pittsburgh. Eagle-eyed fans quickly notified the former Steelers quarterback of Wilson’s outfit on social media, which he happily played into.

"Did she really?!?! Y'all are lying !!!! @laineywilson holla at me !!! 🏈," he wrote on Twitter (now known as X), replying to a fan who tweeted about Wilson’s concert attire.

"This is me hollerin 🤠," Wilson wrote back, and Hodges responded, "OH.MY.GOD 👀 hello."

He is very close with Wilson's friends

<p>Christopher Polk/Penske Media/Getty </p> Devlin Hodges and Lainey Wilson at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards.

Christopher Polk/Penske Media/Getty

Devlin Hodges and Lainey Wilson at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards.

Hodges has Wilson’s friends’ stamp of approval! Speaking with PEOPLE about their relationship, the “Heart Like a Truck” crooner joked that Hodges has been slowly “stealing all my buddies,” including her country music pals like Cole Swindell and HARDY.

“Somebody said how funny it was watching him high-five all of my artist friends at the ACMs, and I said, ‘Those are his friends!’ ” Wilson shared, following their red carpet debut in May.

"He’ll FaceTime me, and he’ll be with HARDY and Morgan [Wallen] and Luke [Combs], and I’m like, ‘Stop stealing all my buddies,' " she continued. "They’ll always be out golfing and drinking a beer.”

In all seriousness, however, Wilson said that having Hodges and her friends get along so well is a big blessing. “I don’t have to convince anybody to like him. He’s a very lovable person,” she added.

He is immensely supportive of Wilson's career

<p>Devlin Hodges Instagram ; Rich Polk/Billboard/Getty</p> Left: Devlin Hodges sitting on a fence. Right: Lainey Wilson performing onstage at Billboard Women In Music in 2023.

Devlin Hodges Instagram ; Rich Polk/Billboard/Getty

Left: Devlin Hodges sitting on a fence. Right: Lainey Wilson performing onstage at Billboard Women In Music in 2023.

“Duck is the kind of dude who high-fives me on the way in the door and on the way out and says, ‘Go get it,’ " Wilson told PEOPLE, while speaking about how much Hodges’ support means to her. "He knows how important this dream is to me."

Wilson echoed similar sentiments during a guest appearance on Access Hollywood. “He’s a good guy. He knows I’m not the kind of girl that can be tamed and kept inside of a box,” she said, noting that she “couldn’t ask for a better partner.”

He is Wilson's muse

<p>Devlin Hodges Instagram ; Rich Fury/Getty</p> Left: Devlin Hodges. Right: Lainey Wilson performing onstage at the 57th ACM Awards in 2022.

Devlin Hodges Instagram ; Rich Fury/Getty

Left: Devlin Hodges. Right: Lainey Wilson performing onstage at the 57th ACM Awards in 2022.

Looking into the future, Wilson is excited to try her hand at writing love songs. She hinted to PEOPLE that her “healthy relationship” with Hodges, whom she describes as “one of my biggest cheerleaders and champions,” has become a big source of inspiration for her musically.

"I was never really able to write love songs, because I don't know if I had actually felt it, but I'm writing me some love songs now," she shared. "I’m grateful for him.”

He and Wilson have attended several star-studded events together

<p>Leah Puttkammer/FilmMagic</p>

Leah Puttkammer/FilmMagic

Hodges was Wilson's plus-one to the CMA Awards in November 2023. The country star and her beau coordinated in all-black ensembles, which included cowboy hats.

Later that evening, Wilson won the award for entertainer of the year. She kissed Hodges, who was beaming with pride, before stepping on stage to deliver her acceptance speech.

"This is all I've ever wanted. It finally feels like country music is starting to love me back," she said while fighting back tears. Wilson briefly thanked Hodges for his support, saying, "I love you Duck."

In April 2024, the couple stepped out for the CMT Awards in Austin, Texas, where Wilson took home the award for female video of the year.

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Read the original article on People.