Nebraska surprises Hobbi

There are limited spots left for offensive lineman in the 2011 Nebraska Cornhusker class, but it's pretty clear that if Cyrus Hobbi wants in then he's in. Hobbi, from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro could play guard or center at the next level and the Huskers are likely looking for another interior lineman to go with Ryne Reeves and Ryan Klachko. Could Hobbi join them?

John Sanders knows talent. The head coach at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale (Ariz.) has seen some of the best that the state of Arizona has to offer. Saguaro has produced many of them. Cyrus Hobbi is the latest.

"The best thing about Hobbi is that he has all of the intangibles of great players," Coach John Sanders said. "Hobbi has size, work ethic, he was a captain for me as an underclassman and you have to drag him out of the weight room. The kid has it all. He's an all-around football player and loves the game."

Hobbi is a 6-foot-3 and 285-pound offensive lineman that could play either of the two interior spots in college according to Coach Sanders. "He'll play guard or center. He's very athletic, has a great punch as a lineman and is big."

Coach Sanders says that recruiting Hobbi includes some of the biggest names in college football like Alabama, USC, Michigan and others. Hobbi has taken two official visits, his second one was this past weekend, and the second one left a big impression on him.

"Hobbi has been to see Oregon State and Nebraska. He's also seen USC, UCLA, California and Michigan on unofficial visits. He's been to all of those places and didn't say anything more about any other school than he did about Nebraska."

The Huskers have great success if they can just get a player to visit. The Huskers have also had success recently dipping into Arizona to land players such as Prince Amukamara, Eric Hagg and Marcel Jones.

"No one does it as well as Nebraska (recruiting Arizona). Ron Brown has my school, but all of the coaches have been here and I know them all. Mike Brown was instrumental to the success at Saguaro high school when he was here as a player, of course he went on to Nebraska and then more recently the NFL and now his former coach at Saguaro, Tim Beck, it at Nebraska."

Coach Sanders had a talk about Hobbi about his visit to Nebraska. Coach Sanders said that Hobbi liked, "The entire game day atmosphere, facilities, coaches and specifically Barney Cotton the offensive line coach. You don't get to be an offensive line coach at Nebraska without being great."

If there is one thing standing in the way of Nebraska landing Cyrus Hobbi it might be distance. And it's not that Nebraska is overly far away from home for Hobbi, it's just that alternatives are very much closer to where he's from.

"I think that academics are going to play a large part into his decision and that they are really #1. He was impressed with Nebraska's athletics. He and his parents are realistic that while he would like to play in the NFL that sometimes it doesn't work out and it definitely does end.

"He and they know that he needs to go to a school that will offer a good education. I know that he would like to play early as well, but that's not as big of a factor. I think that location is there for Hobbi and that is against Michigan and Nebraska. It's a 45 minute flight to some of these schools from California and other PAC10 schools. That's tough to beat."

Hobbi agrees that location is a big consideration, but it's not going to keep him from possibly going to a school if it's best for him. "Obviously my family wants me to stay close," Hobbi said, "but, I wouldn't say that because of distance that Nebraska isn't a school I am strongly considering.

"After the visit that I just took to Nebraska wouldn't mind going to a place like Nebraska or something like that to get a change and try something new. That visit really surprised me (to Nebraska).

Hobbi was actually kind of late to the show on Saturday with a flight that got in around noon or so in Omaha with an hour drive to Lincoln, into traffic, for a 2:30 start time in Lincoln. It was rush, rush, rush at first for Hobbi.

"I flew into Omaha with my brother and got there at either noon or 1:00. We then had to drive to Lincoln and we got there to the game just as it was starting. I walked out right before the team did through the tunnel walk and watched it on the sideline. It was very cool to see 85,000+ going nuts being on the sideline for that."

The Huskers had a banner weekend for recruits in Lincoln for the Texas game and ended up losing. The game was close, and pretty much exciting to the end, but there could always be some negativity from recruits when it comes to attending a game to see a team that ultimately loses.

"Obviously it would have been cooler if Nebraska won the game, but it's Nebraska. It's a great program. The fans were there all the way to the punt return for a touchdown to the last second coming off of the clock. They didn't leave."

Hobbi didn't leave Lincoln until Monday morning so that left a lot of time for him to see things and hang out with his host before he had to leave. Hobbi gave us the skinny on what he did following the game.

"I definitely ate a lot. We ate about every two hours so I wasn't hungry. I got to hang out with the coaches and my host was Jeremiah Sirles. On Sunday I got to meet all of the rest of the coaches, the nutritionist, the strength coach, academic advisors and then we just hung out that night before flying out Monday morning."

The visit might have been better for Hobbi and Nebraska had the Huskers beat Texas, but it didn't take away from the experience at all of the weekend for Hobbi.

"I would rate it a "10". Even with the loss, I had a really good time. I didn't know what to expect before I took the visit out there. I had heard that it was such a cool place from other people, former players here, and I am happy that I went to see it. I really had a great time."

Hobbi says that beyond a visit to Washington, which was previously planned but he had to cancel, that he is unaware of where he will take his other two visits.

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