Defensive tackle will have big impact on Gators

Published: Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 1, 2006 at 10:00 a.m.

He’s smart, really smart. He has carried a 3.8 grade point average throughout high school and an 1150 on his SAT’s.

He’s dedicated, really dedicated. He came back from a bad break in his foot in his junior year to dominate as a senior.

He’s big, really big. At 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, it is like trying to block a freight train coming right at you at full speed.

Corey Hobbs, the highly talented and sought-after defensive tackle from Oviedo High School (Oviedo, Fla.) is ready to be a Gator.

“He has been a Gator since the get-go,” said Oviedo head coach Greg Register. “He’s always favored the Gators, we knew that. It was a family decision that I know everyone is happy with.”

As a U.S. Army All-American as a senior, Hobbs showed why he is so coveted by so many schools. He finished his final season at Oviedo with 59 tackles, four sacks and one forced fumble as he anchored the defense—and the team—to an 8-2 record. Oviedo only allowed 20 points in a game once, and the defense had two shutouts on the season.

“As Corey goes, we go,” Register said. “He’s led our team to a lot of great things.”

Register is not lying.

In 2005, the Oviedo defense gave up just a little more than 11 points per game with Hobbs starting all 10 games. In 2004, when Hobbs was sidelined for most of the season with a broken foot, the team went 1-8 and gave up more than 31 points per game.

When Hobbs was starting as a healthy sophomore, the team went 9-1 and gave up just 12.7 points per game. Those are some telling stats.

“It’s different to have a lineman at that size and speed,” Register said. “I’ve never had a player of his caliber, the total package.”

Along with Florida, who Hobbs has given a verbal commitment to, Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and LSU were all in the running to get him. All had made offers, but Hobbs stuck with his original choice.

Hobbs is a rare talent that has dominated throughout his career.

“He started as a senior, junior and sophomore for us,” Register said. “He played in 50 percent of the plays as a freshman. He was the only freshman I have ever kept on varsity for that length.”

Hobbs played at both defensive tackle and offensive line throughout his high school career, which helps with his technique and knowledge of the game, Register said.

“Any time a kid can get experience on both sides of the ball, it helps tremendously,” Register said. “He is a total team player. A tough kid who plays with pain and has great athleticism and quickness.”

Hobbs will come in as one of the youngest Gator recruits. He will turn 18 at the end of May. Youth, though, doesn’t mean immaturity or inexperience.

“He’s not a vocal leader, so that won’t make a big difference,” Register said. “He is a guy who will lead by example every play of every game.”

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