Greene: Willie, what is your accurate height and weight numbers? We hear a lot of different numbers.
Mobley: "I am officially 6-foot-2 and I weigh 265 pounds. I've gained around 15 pounds since last spring and I've lowered my body fat."
Greene: What does the coaching staff want you to weight to be at your best?
Mobley: "We haven't really gone over that, to be honest. They just want me to keep my quickness and be as strong as I can be. They want me to be able to play inside or outside."
Greene: Playing inside is tough at your weight, isn't it?
Mobley: "Surprisingly, I have enough strength to get the job done at tackle, and I've shown that in practice. In the weight room I don't put up huge numbers, like a lot of guys do, but on the field I'm a football player. A lot of people don't understand that aspect because they just look at size and strength numbers. They say things about my height and speed to play defensive end, or not big enough to play defensive tackle, but I can make plays on the football field. The coaches know they can put me anywhere on the line and I'm going to play my heart out, and make plays."
Greene: What position do you feel the most comfortable playing?
Mobley: "To me, it doesn't matter at all. I just want to play football. I don't think I'm a stand-up player at all, like Thad Gibson. I put my hand on the ground and then I get after it. I'm not a 4.4 guy, a 300-pounder, or a body-beautiful guy. I'm a football player and when I get my chance to prove it, I think I will show people that. That's why Ohio State brought me in here."
Greene: Where are you at currently on the depth chart?
Mobley: "Right now, I'm going back and forth between second and third team, with both the tackles and the ends. I'm playing both spots and learning both spots, so I can be more valuable to the coaching staff. It helps to be a versatile player at Ohio State. I'm just waiting for my opportunity, and when it comes I will play my heart out."
Greene: This summer we heard you played some fullback and some tight end. Was that serious, or just messing around?
Mobley: "No, that was just messing around. After lifting was over I just wanted to hang out with the guys, and I filled in if someone was missing that day. There were rumors they were going to ask me to play fullback last year, but it never came up. I'm a football player and I know I could play the position, but I'm a defensive linemen. I played everywhere in high school, so I would play anywhere they want me to play."
Greene: You had great scholarship offers coming out of high school. As you look back, are there any regrets about choosing Ohio State?
Mobley: "I know in my heart that I made the right decision to come to Ohio State. I really do. I know I could be on the field had I gone elsewhere, but to me, this is the best place to be. I didn't want to stay in Minnesota. I wanted to get away from home and learn to be a man, and this was the best place to have that happen. Either at Ohio State, or at Ball State, right Bill?" [laughing]
The Ball State comment refers back to an article I wrote about Willie during his Ohio State recruitment.
When Willie took his official visit to Ohio State it was agreed that he would call me from the airport, to do a story on his visit.
Willie surprised me by calling me the night before his flight from his hotel room in Columbus, and we went ahead and did the interview. The only problem was he had Michael Brewster and Jacob Stoneburner in the room with him, and they were doing their best to disrupt the entire interview. With success, I might add.
When I asked Willie about his college choices, he answered "Ohio State, Minnesota, UCLA and Ball State." At least I thought he said "Ball State."
After reviewing the tape later that night, I went ahead and ran the story. With Brewster screaming in Mobley's ear it wasn't easy to understand, but it sure sounded like Ball State.
The next day I got a call from Willie asking why I put Ball State in the story, and wondering where it was. Ball State was also pleasantly surprised to learn that a player of Mobley's stature was "interested" in them.
We removed Ball State from the story and I never did find out who the real team was supposed to be, but every time I've spoken to Willie Mobley since that day, he always mentions going to Ball State, and we share a good laugh.