(Corey Hobbs profile)
A life-long Gator fan, the 6-5, 310 pound US Army All American was trying to get the rest of the recruits to cheer on his Gators. By the end of the game, his presence along with the entire atmosphere turned a bunch of hard-nosed football players into rabid fans.
“It was the absolute best college game in my entire life,” Hobbs said Monday night. “By far it was just another level of excitement. It was just so loud the entire game. We were sitting in the stands, and it was cool because in the beginning all the guys around me were trying to act all cool. By the end of the game they were cheering like I was.”
Hobbs has formed a friendship with fellow commitment Terron Sanders of Bradenton Southeast. The two plan on anchoring the middle of the defensive line for a few years starting in the near future.
“My family and I got there in Gainesville about noon on Saturday,” Hobbs said. “Then we walked up to the Gator room. Right when we walked up Terron was standing outside and we talked about how our seasons went.”
“We went inside and got the food and all that good stuff and talked to a bunch of guys, Carl Johnson and pretty much everyone, you name them -- I talked to them. I talked to Coach Strong and Mattison a little bit. We talked about everything that is going on and we were both really excited.”
Corey Hobbs and Terron Sanders. Photo by Ansley Hobbs.
“We were talking to Lawrence Marsh and we were saying I would be the 3-technique, Terron would be the 1-technique and Lawrence would be the 6-technique (defensive end). I just saw him on the front of GatorCountry.com. We were telling him we need him for the 6-technique.”
During the game, Hobbs was doing his best recruiting pitch for the Gators. For some of the players in the south east end zone stands that might be on the fence between Florida and Florida State, Hobbs was directing their attention to the field.
“The proof was on the field about where some of the guys that are looking at FSU should go,” he said. ”Terron and I were doing the whole recruiting thing.”
Hobbs really enjoyed the locker room after the game, but understood that some of the time was meant for the players that have had a long year and finished on such a high note. He got a feel for what he expects it to be like when he starts school in Gainesville next season.
“The locker room after the game was insane, pretty much a party,” he said. “It was a big celebration for them. The recruits were off to the side because it was a special moment for the players.”
Hobbs thinks he is a natural for the defense and the coaches for UF have told him just as much. He just can’t wait to get to Gainesville to show what he can do on the football field. “The defense exactly fits me. It’s not laid back, it’s an aggressive, smash-mouth defense. That is exactly how I like to play. It fits me like a glove,” said Hobbs.
“Coach Mattison says they need a heavy body inside in the middle to blow up the middle and create a new line of scrimmage. They want Terron and I for that. They want tough hard-nosed guys and not someone that wants to avoid the hit. They want someone that will put a hit on the offensive lineman first.”
“What Marcus Thomas is doing is exactly what I want to do. I am running as much as I can and lifting as much as I can trying to get ready to do the same thing.”
It was an unofficial visit for Hobbs and he will be back in Gainesville in late January. It is setting up to be another big recruiting weekend for the Gators. Hobbs is ready to help sell the magic of being a Florida Gator to them.
“I am taking my official on January 20th,” he said. “That is when they are trying to bring everyone in that wasn’t taking a visit during the season. I’ve been talking to a bunch of prospects about coming here.”
As for he and Sanders, the bond has only started in what may be a lifetime friendship. The two may be an immovable object on the line and inseparable for the future of Gator football. Hobbs, hadn’t thought about it really, but could see rooming with Sanders while in Gainesville.
“Terron and I hang out when we come up for games,” he said. “I think it would be pretty cool to room with him. That works for me.”