Friday at 1pm MST, Cyrus Hobbi, the sixth-ranked offensive guard (Scout.com) and one of the top offensive linemen on the West Coast, will announce which school the sought after lineman will attend.
Hobbi, from Scottsdale’s Saguaro High School, has been receiving phone calls, letters of intense interest, and countless coaches knocking on his door for over a year.
Now, with the announcement set, the collective breath of Sun Devil fans across the valley, as well as fans from the city of Los Angeles, will be waiting in anticipation.
The interest that Hobbi has garnered has not just been from the hometown Sun Devils, but from former Pac-10 kingpin, USC, as well as their crosstown rival, UCLA.
All three schools are in need of offensive line assistance, with UCLA and USC actually in worse shape than Arizona State. The Sun Devils return all five starting offensive linemen from 2010, including eight other scholarship offensive linemen on the depth chart.
However, there is one major difference between Hobbi and the eight reserve offensive linemen. Simply, Hobbi is an All-American, and ASU has been short a few players of that caliber recently.
Just like every other top prospect, Hobbi wants to play as soon as possible, rather than redshirting and sitting on the sidelines to wait his turn. Perhaps, UCLA and USC are offering a better shot at early playing time, while ASU seems secure with their core unit up front.
Although, with Hobbi’s physical attributes and technique, it would come as no surprise if the 6’4”, 285 pounder nestled into a starting role in Tempe by midseason.
For USC, what else is new? The Trojans are fully entrenched in getting the highest ranked, fastest, strongest, and most athletic prospects from the entire country.
Clearly, Hobbi was not going to be overlooked for long. Although, it was not until other linemen prospects spurned USC for Stanford, CAL, and Oregon, that Hobbi moved up the Trojan’s totem pole.
The attraction to UCLA might be twofold. First, UCLA is struggling, to say the least, and that means that the best players should play instantly, regardless of class. For the soon-to-be incoming freshman, Hobbi certainly would not frown upon that guarantee.
Secondly, Hobbi will undoubtedly be entering a completely new and foreign environment from high school life in Scottsdale, AZ. What better way to get acclimated with your new school than having one of your best friends with you?
UCLA looks to have the edge in that department, with former Saguaro lineman, Kody Innes, who redshirted this past season for the Bruins.
Innes, just like Hobbi, wanted to play early and often, but opted to enroll at UCLA over ASU and Washington last recruiting cycle. On top of Innes’ redshirt year, he was also moved from his desired and more comfortable tackle position, to center.
Whether Innes voiced his displeasure or acceptance of this move while Hobbi visited Westwood last weekend is unclear.
But a new wrinkle was added into the mix late Wednesday night.
When fellow elite Grand Canyon lineman, Mo Latu announced his decision to commit to Dennis Erickson and the Sun Devils, Hobbi was one of the next people to hear about his decision to stay local.
In an interview with Scout.com, Latu said, “I called Cyrus [Hobbi] about an hour ago and told him I committed…I jumped on the ball before he did but I hope my decision helps him with his decision making.”
While that excerpt may sound encouraging from a maroon and gold standpoint, when the “greasy” USC Trojans are involved, nothing is ever guaranteed.
Nonetheless, Hobbi will be joined by friends, family, school administrators, and maybe even one “salt ‘n pepper” haired football coach from up the road, to witness the grand spectacle of college football recruiting.