Faces of the Future: Cyrus Hobbi

Offensive lineman Cyrus Hobbi comes into USC with a fresh outlook, and a dream of starting for the Trojans as a true freshman.

I fell into a burning ring of fire I went down, down, down and the flames went higher. And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire

Cyrus Hobbi isn't exactly falling into a ring of fire. But the offensive guard, and superstar of USC's incoming class, will fall into a thin offensive line, and might be expected to perform right away.

"It's something I've been thinking about, just about every day since my visit," he said. "I'm excited but at the same time it's not an easy thing to do."

Luckily performing isn't foreign to the 6'4, 285-pound Saguaro product. Hobbi once belted out Johnny Cash's famous "Ring of Fire" at a high school talent show. And a factor in his commitment to USC: the theatre school.

"I've always enjoyed performing for people, making them laugh, to try to become an actor, I don't know about all that," Hobbi joked.

Oh, as for performing on the field? The sixth-ranked guard in his class and Scout.com four-star recruit went to the Scottsdale-based Saguaro, a school many believe is a football factory for producing D-1 offensive lineman.

"I enjoy competition, surrounding myself with guys that are better than me," he said. "[My high school teammates] kicked the crap out of me when I was young. It levels your head and makes you better."

Despite playing at a competitive level at Saguaro, Hobbi is the only Sabercat ever to be named to the Parade All-American team.

Hobbi has a chance to make more history. While his transition to college will no doubt be an adjustment, it's also no doubt that USC's offensive line lacks depth. But post-World War II, there have only been four true freshman to start on the Trojan's offensive line.

"It excites me that there's a chance to play because I don't really want to sit out too long," he said. "Under the circumstances of the lack of depth it's going to be a fun summer and fall to see where I land."

Hobbi enrolled in summer classes at USC to get used to college life before Fall camp. His first two college courses: lab science and a dance class.

"[The dance class] was a workout. I got some abs in, I'm glad I'm taking that class. I can work on the footwork," he joked.

What else does Hobbi need to work on? He notes he could gain weight and speed, and improve his explosiveness. Most importantly, he just needs to get repetitions in at the college level.

"I'm expecting to get more mature football-wise and generally speaking," he said. "If I work as hard as I know I can there should be no reason why I couldn't start."

The confident guard, who also feels comfortable at tackle, might even be an option at center in the future. Wherever he plays, he'll surely come into a field of great expectations. Luckily for the newly-enrolled Trojan, he's also comfortable with attention. Intensely recruited by UCLA and ASU also, Hobbi 'Lebron-ified' his Decision by announcing a commitment to USC in a live stream online.

"It's good to have change," he said. "It was a week and a half before signing day, I thought maybe other guys would go there [if they saw me]. I enjoyed it."

Something else Hobbi enjoys? Debating. He said if acting or the NFL don't pan out, politics may be in his future.

"I enjoy conflict good and bad, any type of arguments really. Politics, music, football, basketball, really basically everything," he said. "I enjoy getting into deep conversations."

Whether the lure was Hollywood, politics, the opportunity to play professional football, or even the chance to start as a true freshman, Cyrus Hobbi chose USC to make his mark.

But walking into Heritage Hall every day, passing by the Heisman trophies and witnessing the other Trojans who have made their marks over the years, Hobbi might soon hum that Johnny Cash song again.

I fell into a burning ring of fire I went down, down, down and the flames went higher. And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire

USC's national stage is kind of like the college football ring of fire. Playing there is unlike anything a high school athlete can imagine. So if Hobbi can't rise to the occasion, he might fall with the Trojans, into a burning ring of fire.

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