Hobbs waiting for "The Zone"

When someone says a players is "in the zone", that usually means a game where everything seemed to work. Or, at the very least, a moment where you simply closed out the world and were in your own, oblivious to anything and anyone around you. Ok, now do that for an entire career. That's Corey Hobbs and he might not remember the performances, but he's got offers galore to prove that they were pretty darn good.

I remember this one game of pool I played. Actually, I have had more than one, but it's the one that sticks out, because I couldn't miss. I couldn't shoot a bad shot and they all went in, no matter how ridiculous the shot seemed.


That's what they call "in the zone".


For lineman, Corey Hobbs, he had a moment like that, but it wasn't a game or even a season, but it's been like that since he has been playing the game. "I don't really remember the actual game," Hobbs said. "It's like this big blur and the next thing I know, we are eating after the game or in the lockeroom."


"I know what I am doing out there and know the stuff I need to do, but it just doesn't seem like it's really happening. I don't know. It's hard to explain."


Hard to explain for him, but doubtful that those that have had to face the 6 foot, 5 inch, 320 pound lineman have came off feeling quite the same way. And, at least for Corey, he may not remember every single collision at the line, but he knows for certain how he's feeling most of the time he's on the field.


"I'm pretty pissed off most of the time, I guess," Corey said. "I get down there and all I want to do is destroy the guy across from me."


You might find that ironic for a person who has thought mostly of taking pre-med when he gets into college. And, it's also the first thing out of his mouth when you ask him what's important about his school of the future.


On the field and off the field is different, though, and Hobbs is someone that likes the release he gets in an actual game. "It's when you can cut loose," he said. "You just go out there, forget about everything, zone everything else out and just get after people."


While he's getting after people, it's other people getting after him, starting with Georgia Tech last year, counting up to a dozen to today. The offers are continuing to roll in for one of Florida's most dominant prep-linemen, teams varying from in-state favorite – Florida to LSU, Nebraska, Stanford and Duke.


And, there's another offer he's expecting fairly soon. "I talked to the coaches at USC and it sounds like an offer is coming soon," Corey said. "They said that they thought it was going to happen, but obviously, they have to get the ok from the head coach."


The attraction to USC is obvious, the Trojans being one of the elite programs in the country. Hobbs likes that, as you can imagine, but he's already kind of partial to a team that is a lot closer to his house. "Florida, Florida, Florida," Hobbs said. "They've always been my favorite team, so it's pretty exciting having that offer from them."


Now, before all of you fans not loyal to the Gators start frowning too much, Corey said that a favorite now doesn't mean a favorite down the road. "There's a lot of things I am thinking about when it comes to a school," he said. "Location is important, but if a place fits me, it fits me and that's where I should be."


"I'm just not real eager to go to someplace that's cold all the time."


Ok, so that probably rules out schools in North Dakota, but other than that, Corey said that he's trying to keep an open mind and he'll not make any decisions anytime soon.

You see, there's something else on his mind, something a lot more pressing that has been stewing inside of him since he broke his foot last year, allowing him to only play four games of the entire campaign.


Even his gaudy stats of almost 40 tackles, two forced fumbles and nine tackles for loss didn't help. Also and ironic enough, the offers coming from such big-time programs also didn't give him any consolation.


Quite the opposite in fact.


"I don't know about anyone else, but I got those offers and that was after only a partial season," Corey said. "Those offers just make me want to go out there, work harder, get in better shape and show them what I can do in a full season."


"Everything I am going to do over the summer is going to revolve around getting in the best shape I can be."


That will mean for Hobbs, that he'll probably not attend a lot of camps or at least, the three-day ones. And, he'll probably not be traveling very far to the camps he does attend. One day here, one day there, but he knows where his attention will be focused.


Recruiting will have to wait.


"I've got the time to look all over, see who offers, check those schools out and do a lot of research," Corey said. "I want to enjoy the whole recruiting process, take my visits and see what is out there."


That's not stopping Corey from giving his top five, though. Yes, it's a very tentative top five, but here is his: Florida, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Nebraska and USC. Georgia and USC are the only two of the group not to have offered.


That list might change, but you can be the number of actual offers most definitely will. Especially if Hobbs finds himself in another season-long zone. "Shut the world out and get after it," Corey said. "As long as I can stay healthy, it is going to be a lot of fun."

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