Sun Devils' stock rising with Hobbi

The recruiting landscape is fluid by nature and preferences tend to change rather than stay consistent. Cyrus Hobbi is a prime example of that. Up until a few weeks ago the hometown school wasn't all that high on the Scottsdale Saguaro lineman's list. Nonetheless, a strong season finish by ASU followed by an official visit this past weekend to Tempe has changed matters quite dramatically.

"The visit went very well and I really enjoyed it," said Cyrus Hobbi. "I definitely can say that I like them a lot more now than a couple of months ago. Even though I've known the coaches for a while I really got to know them a lot on this visit and spend more time with them. They really are genuine people and cool guys and that's one reason I like ASU more now. Obviously I spent a lot of time with the Saguaro players on the team and got to learn more about the team through them. It is good to hear from them because they are my boys.

"I really got a lot my questions answered on this visit. Some of the questions I had were about the coaching staff and if they were going to stay or not, and they told me that they were going to be around for a while and that was good to hear."

Hobbi added that by literally watching all of ASU's games this year that he really gained a lot of knowledge about the team's talent potential.

"One question I had was about how good of a football team they will be," Hobbi stated, "and that has kind of been answered because of the way they played last year. They could have been a ranked team. I think these next few years they are going to be pretty good because they have a lot of talented young guys."

The lineman who among his suitors was offered a scholarship first by Arizona State has naturally kept in contact with the Sun Devils' offensive line coach Gregg Smith for the last two years and talked to us about Smith's coaching style and the schemes the maroon and gold's front five runs.

"In high school we run pretty similar schemes to what Arizona State runs," Hobbi commented. "So everything he says about the way the offensive line plays is easy for me to understand. He gets on his players to play well but that is what a coach is supposed to do so I don't mind that."

One of Hobbi's former teammates is current ASU offensive lineman Kody Kobensky, and the Sun Devil prospect confessed that Kobensky has been able to give him a clear perspective on the team from a player's point of view.

"He was answering my questions all weekend," Hobbi noted. "It was really like he did with me when I was a sophomore at Saguaro and he took me under his wing. So he helped me a lot in high school and helping me understand things about ASU, just like Corey Adams and Max Smith are.

"Being close to home and playing with them is something I've been thinking about a lot."

The lineman stated that academics will be another driving force in his ultimate decision.

"Even though I want to play at the next level, I also know that I need my education after I'm done playing," Hobbi said. "I've been impressed more than I thought with ASU's academics. Their academics have definitely gone up the last few years."

Aside from the familiar campus surroundings Hobbi got to witness the last 48 hours, he was also delighted to come back to Sun Devil stadium just a week after he and his Sabercats' teammates played in this venue and edged Tucson Canyon Del Oro 41-34 to capture the state's 4AI championship.

Hobbi, who also plays on the defensive line for Saguaro, was less than 100 percent during that contest, and turned in one of the more gritty performances seen in a state championship game.

"It was great walking back onto that field where we won a couple of state championships," Hobbi admitted. "I thought I did alright all season and kind of wished I did more on defense this year, although I think I played better on defense than offense in the state championship game.

"We had a lot of young guys these last couple of years that stepped up. I thought our leadership last year wasn't as good as this year which is why we lost in the semis. This year we had a much better team and we were able to overcome two early losses in the year and played with a lot of emotion after that. We had a lot of leaders on the team like Teddy Ruben and D.J. Foster and that really helped us this year."

While he found a lot of success playing offensive tackle in high school, Hobbi is better suited for guard at the college level, especially with his 6-3 280 frame. The lineman talked about his development as a player in his senior year and what are some of the skills that endear him to his suitors.

"Last year I would really knock people out by leaving my feet," Hobbi explained, "and I'm starting to learn that you can't really do that at the college level when you try and block these freakish athletes. So for me, improving my footwork and base was important to me and I had a lot more pancakes this year than last year.

"The coaches like my athleticism and my agility playing as an interior lineman. My technique is pretty good and our offensive line coach learns some of that stuff from the ASU's coaching staff. They also like me being a nasty, aggressive player on the field, but a low-key nice guy off the field. It's not hard for me to balance that but it does confuse some of my teammates or players I play against. You have to change your mind set when you step on that field and when you step off."

Hobbi indicated that he does need to put on some weight before college, but at the same time believed that he is now faster than the 4.9 40-yards time he was clocked at. The lineman reported weight marks of 405 lbs. benching and 550 lbs. squatting.

ASU was Hobbi's third official visit, as earlier this year he also tripped to Oregon State and Nebraska. His original plan was to announce his decision during the Under Armour All-Star game on January 5th, but now he will probably do so later in January.

"My season lasted longer this year because we made it to the championship game which is obviously a good thing," Hobbi remarked. "So I still want to take a couple more visits to UCLA and probably USC but I haven't set up dates yet. I'll take these trips and see where I'm at and get a feel for everything."

Hobbi, who is ranked by as the 9th best offensive guard in the 2011 class has naturally been one of the heavily recruited players in the state, which is something that he confessed to being overbearing at times.

"After we won the championship it was really crazy," Hobbi recalled, "getting so many different coaches calling to congratulate me. But not a lot of players get this much attention so I'm very thankful and I try to enjoy it."

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