A welcome site for Hoosier football here at the start of spring practice is the “full-go” status of redshirt junior wide receiver Simmie Cobbs.
In his first appearance on the field this fall against Ball State, Cobbs went down with a season ending injury.
“I just know that I fractured my fibula and tore a ligament,” Cobbs said. “It was not a pretty injury but God is good.”
Cobbs says he’s been back to 100 percent for some time now.
“I want to say four or five weeks ago, something like that (when) I got full cleared by the doctor,” Cobbs said. “I know I was ahead of schedule.”
He’s keeping things simple this spring.
“Just focusing more on the ball, strong hands and having a physical presence.”
The Oak Park, Illinois native will have the opportunity for two more seasons in uniform since the mishap occurred early in the season, allowing him to take a medical redshirt.
“Setbacks are good if you take advantage of them,” Cobbs said. “Definitely great to have that security, knowing you have that extra year if things don’t always go as planned.”
As a sophomore in 2015, Cobbs blossomed, pulling down 60 receptions for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns. That yardage was third overall in the Big Ten and he became just the sixth Hoosier ever to surpass 1,000 yards receiving in a season.
This spring he’s working with new wide receiver coach Grant Heard after offensive coordinator and receivers coach Kevin Johnson left the program in the wake of Kevin Wilson’s departure.
Heard comes from Ole Miss where he worked with Biletnikoff Award finalist Laquon Treadwell, recent NFL draftee Cody Core and Indianapolis Colt veteran Dante Moncrief. All of those receivers were 6-foot-2 and bigger and major talents.
Cobbs is Indiana’s biggest wideout, checking in now at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds.
“He definitely likes my size since at Ole Miss they had nothing but big receivers,” Cobbs said. “He’s coaching me how to use my size more to my advantage. Before I got hurt that was my goal.”
The Hoosiers also have a new offensive coordinator in Mike DeBord. He also comes from the SEC.
“The offense is very fast and we’re used to that,” Cobbs said. “It’s just the mindset that we’re trying to change.”
For now he’s concentrating on working with Heard to try to become the next Moncrief or Treadwell.
“I know that if I give full effort and buy into everything he’s saying, my chances are high of being a great receiver as well,” Cobbs said.