The Dallas Morning News
Cedar Hill quarterback Damion Hobbs was simply too good to fall through the cracks.
Hobbs – who led Cedar Hill Texas to the 5A Division II state final – orally committed to Oregon on Wednesday, snatching up a late-minute offer from one of the nation’s premier collegiate programs.
After being so close to a state title, Hobbs said the commitment was a “sweet end” to a season that had finished in bitter disappointment.
“He’s a good one,” Cedar Hill coach Joey McGuire said. “I’m so proud of what it means for him and for our program.”
In order to take his Oregon offer, Hobbs decommitted for the second time in as many months – stepping away from a Utah State pledge he made during an official visit two weeks ago.
While Hobbs’ actions might initially come across as mercenary, his high school coach said they were anything but that.
At one point in the recruiting process , Hobbs held offers from every major conference, from major programs like Nebraska, Michigan State and Missouri.
Instead, he chose Arkansas State, with a major factor in his decision its head coach, Gus Malzahn.
When Malzahn left for Auburn in early December – in the midst of Cedar Hill’s playoff run – Hobbs stayed with his commitment to Arkansas State until he had time to sit down with new head coach Bryan Harsin. Hobbs and Arkansas State parted ways in early January.
At that point, however, pickings were slim in terms of offers; most colleges try to secure quarterbacks fairly early in the process, McGuire said.
“I knew schools were going to come in,” Hobbs said. “I just didn’t know that [Oregon] would be one of them.”
Hobbs took a visit to Utah State with the understanding that Oregon wanted him to visit. But McGuire said there wasn’t any assurance that Oregon would offer – leaving Hobbs no real option but pledge to the Aggies knowing that his second decommitment could be just around the corner.
“He really struggled with it,” McGuire said. “Coming into the last few weeks of recruiting, he didn’t want to get left out in the cold. But he hated [decommitting from Utah State].”
Hobbs (6-2, 190) passed for 2,769 yards and 29 touchdowns, also rushing for 808 yards and 12 scores in 2012, a marked increase from his junior season.
Hobbs credited his coaches, specifically offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Michael Glaze, for preparing him for a FBS program.
Glaze changed Hobbs’ grip between his junior and senior seasons, as well as shortened his throwing motion, and the alterations paid dividends.
Glaze made similar changes for Driphus Jackson between 2009 and 2010; Jackson picked up a FBS offer from Rice late in the recruiting process.
“He’s real a football savvy guy who knows how to coach quarterbacks,” Hobbs said.
“And his system works. College coaches come down to see us, because they know we can play at that level.”
Hobbs took a visit to Eugene, Oregon last weekend. He said he’s excited about playing in Oregon’s scheme – expected not to change under new head coach Mark Helfrich.
“A lot of the stuff they do is the same stuff we do at Cedar Hill,” Hobbs said.
“They like to incorporate the triple option, like to throw vertical routes. I think I’ll be a perfect fit.”