Ellis Hobbs: Right after we got done with the Independence Bowl I had about five or six days to get ready for the all-star game. That kind of got me out there on the radar. You've been there all season and have gotten the accolades, but now it's time for the next level. You're going against the best at the all-star game. It's not the games that make you, it's the practices.
I did a good job with that and then I got invited to the combine. That went real well and then I had the pro timing day. Lately I've gone on some visits and personal workouts. Right now I couldn't be in a better position, as far as the draft status. I don't know where I'm going or what round, but it's all looking on the up and up.
CN: Which all-star game or games did you participate in?
Hobbs: I went to the Hula Bowl and Florida Gridiron Classic, and both of them were great sites. The Florida Gridiron Classic is second to none, as far as the hospitality and everything. The Hula Bowl was the same and you can't get any better than Hawaii.
CN: How would you grade your performance at those two events?
Hobbs: The wide receivers and competition I was going against – you know they were giving it their all, too. They're vying for a job also. When I was out there I visualized money being out on the field. Me going against that guy, we were both trying to get that money. I wanted to come out on top each time and I think I did a good job of that.
You can't be intimidated, because you're already beat once you go out there if you are. It's still a game and you're there for a reason. I didn't go out there arrogant with a chip on my shoulder, but I was pretty confident knowing what I could do. Nothing changed for me, as far as techniques or my thinking ability. It was more a matter of upping it and raising my focus.
CN: Which teams have you had contact with or had visits with?
Hobbs: When you go to the combine you have contact with 32 owners, 32 GMs, and 32 head coaches. So that was contact in and of itself, with all of the interviews there. Then I had some interviews at the all-star game. Twenty-six teams were at my pro day as well. Just to give you a couple, the Vikings, Jets, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Giants, Chiefs, and Colts were there and I talked to them.
The thing is, they want to get you at the lowest dollar possible. So other guys might not want to talk to you because they don't want to raise any eyes. ‘Hey this guy is trying to get him so let's see what he's all about.' They're just lurking in the water and if they get that opening they're going to come after you.
CN: What are some of your measurements right now?
Hobbs: Right now I'm 5-foot-9 and 191 pounds. My 40 speed is a 4.36 on field turf. I vertical jumped 42 inches. I broad jumped 11'1" and my three-cone agility was 6.65 seconds. My 60-yard shuttle was an 11-flat. All of the drills went well.
CN: Who have you worked out with during the whole process?
Hobbs: My strength and conditioning coach, Matt McGettigan at Iowa State, is second to none. He has it down to a science and really takes the job serious. You get one shot at this and when your time comes you have to be ready. We did a real good job of getting ready.
CN: Has your height come up in the evaluation process with teams?
Hobbs: It has nothing to do with size, speed, athleticism, or any of those things. It's all about technique and confidence. I wouldn't be in the position I am, as far as my college career, if I hadn't thought about it. Coaches understand that. When those guys turn on that tape and look at that film, they know they're not playing with a 5-9 guy against a 6-3 receiver. They're playing with a cornerback that can make plays.
When I go out there I'm not thinking this guy is too tall. I'm thinking about playing through his hands and what I have to do to beat him technique-wise. Those guys see that on film. It's not always about height, weight, and speed.
CN: You were known for your leadership at character at Iowa State. How much have those two factors been brought up by NFL scouts?
Hobbs: They tell me about the character thing. That's why they bring me in, because they want to see if for themselves. Coaches can hype you up as much as you want, but they want to see it for themselves. They kind of put you out there and test you a little bit, asking you questions and seeing if you'll look them in the eye and give a handshake. For some people it doesn't come natural and it's hard. I've been around enough people to know how to present myself.
CN: Are you being looked at on special teams as a returner?
Hobbs: Very much so. If you're going to pay a guy millions of dollars or hundreds of thousands, you want to get top value. Anytime a guy can come in and do returns or play on special teams, it's a bonus for those guys and you too. It puts you out there. Hopefully I'll get to touch the ball in those areas. I did punt returns at the all-star games and did real well with that. They already know about kickoff returns. Hopefully I'll get a shot.
CN: What are your plans on draft day?
Hobbs: Me and my telephone have a special day going all day. I'm driving home for the draft on the Thursday the 21st. I want to spend some time with my family, because I haven't seen them in a while. I've been working out and trying to stay up here and stay focused. We're going to have fun the days before the draft and especially afterwards. Then I've got to fly right back up here on that Monday and get ready to go and start my new life.