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A star will always shine: Hobbs lands first offer from Syracuse

By Jordyn J. Bennett

High school football athletes are constantly competing for validation from critics. Media

outlets like ESPN, 24/7Sports and Rivals hand out stars to ballers all over the country, telling

young men with dreams of playing on the Division I stage that they’re capable of competing at

that level.

Not everyone gets that accreditation.

Neumann Goretti High School junior linebacker Samuel Hobbs is an uncut gem who has

all the intangibles a D-I program could ask for. At 6’1”, 210 pounds, Hobbs has size that stands

out when lined up across from his peers; speed that allows him to cover ground from sideline to
sideline; and fearless power that he puts into every hit. But even with all of that, he still doesn’t
have a single star that says “he’s D-I.”
Hobbs, however, never needed stars to be one.

On Wednesday, Syracuse University would make sure he knew that, giving Hobbs his

first Division I offer. He was delivered the news by Cuse’s wide receiver coach Mike Johnson
while in school.

“He told me off-rip, ‘I'm going to offer you,’” Hobbs recalled. “‘I told the (head) coach, I was going to offer you. I think you’re a D-I player.’”
Being a Division I athlete was never a thought for Hobbs — he knew it. With an
incredible work ethic on the field that can easily be overshadowed by his character and
dedication in the classroom, Hobbs has been working for the opportunity to hear a coach utter
those words for as long as he can remember.
When he finally heard them, he couldn’t hold his emotions back.
“I wanted to tear up, I’m not gonna lie,” he said. “They don’t see how much work I put in.”

Syracuse may not get to see every hour that Hobbs puts in to perfect his craft, but they
saw enough to believe that he could one day make them better. Cuse is Hobbs’ first offer, but he
is not new to sparking interest. He’s been in contact with Bowling Green, Howard and Temple.
With the weight of his first offer off his shoulders and a summer full of camps planned as
he heads toward his senior year, he’s ready to show to everyone else what the Orange see in him.
“It pushed me to go 10 times harder.”

Hobbs’ tenacity and love for the game shows every time he touches the field. While he is
nowhere near making a decision, he has a message to whatever program that gets the
opportunity to one day see him in their colors: “You got a dog coming!”


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