Cyrus Hobbi proves he belongs
The UA All-America guard might not believe it, but he fits in with best of the best
In some cases being an All-American hasn't yet sunk in for Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguro offensive lineman Cyrus Hobbi.
But come January 5, the 6-foot-4, 285-pounder will be standing next to five-star players like Jadeveon Clowney (Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe), Cyrus Kouandjio (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) and Isaiah Crowell (Columbus, Ga./Carver) and sharing the same space at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Judging by the schools chasing after Hobbi, it's obvious he belongs in that group, and the four-star offensive lineman plans on continuing with his official visits into 2011.
"I have visits to UCLA and USC to take," Hobbi said. "Those are two of my top schools and I'm going to head there and see everything I can."
Hobbi has already taken visits to Oregon State and Nebraska. Most recently he went down the road and checked out Arizona State.
"It was a good time at ASU," Hobbi said. "I got a chance to catch up with some old friends."
Hobbi is familiar with his top schools through unofficial visits and attending games, but the official visits give him a chance to go further in depth with what the school has to offer.
"It's important to see what the schools have to offer as a forum for life beyond football," Hobbi said. "You want to be in a place where the academics are sound and there's a good plan in place. Also it's a better chance to spend extended time with the coaches and build those relationships. I feel comfortable with the schools I'm high on."
Right now Hobbi is excited to have a break and prepare for the Under Armor All-America Game. He's going to be on the red squad joined by Kouandjio, Christian Westerman (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) and Marcus Jackson (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach).
"That looks like a pretty good group to line up with," Hobbi said.
He said he's had an opportunity to speak with some of the players in the past on the camp circuit and even joked about being a package deal with Kouandjio.
"We could do something like be the 'Cyrus connection,'" Hobbi said. "That name isn't too familiar and to think there's two of us coming along at the same time and playing along the line.
"I think a couple of schools would be interested. You would hope so."
QB Nova moves on after decommitting from Pitt
After a week of thinking about it and watching the Pitt staff break apart, it was time for quarterback Gary Nova (Ramsey, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) to make a decision.
Nova was coy in what schools he was talking to. Just saying that he has a "couple of schools from the ACC, one from the SEC and a couple from the Big East" that are interested.
"Some of them called after Coach [Dave] Wannstedt [resigned]," Nova said. "And others have contacted me in the last few days."
One place that Nova has set up a visit with is Rutgers.
"I'm going to visit there on January 21st," Nova said. "I've known that staff for a while and I'm going to get a chance to see what they are about."
Although Nova is solid in his decision to move on he remains disappointed that he will not get to honor his original commitment.
"I was stunned with I heard about Coach Wannstedt," Nova said. "I didn't believe it. He was doing a good job and I thought he was going to retire there. I loved the school and I fell in love with the city of Pittsburgh. It's very disappointing."
Nova understands he's going to have to be careful in his selection of his next school and that his options are limited.
"A lot of the schools have already got their quarterbacks for this class," Nova said. "I'm just looking for the right opportunity and a place where I can have a good relationship with the staff and compete."
Could Clinton-Dix and Hart still be future teammates?
Although the season didn't end with a title like Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips four-star safety Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix hoped, it doesn't mean he's ready to end it all and get ready to attend Alabama.
"Yeah, I'm planning on visiting Florida and probably Florida State too," Clinton-Dix said. "I haven't got a date set yet."
Clinton-Dix recently talked to new Florida coach Will Muschamp.
"He has a great personality, a real laid-back and relaxed guy," Clinton-Dix said. "He came at me like a normal person. I felt comfortable around him."
Even though he is continuing with his visits, Clinton-Dix remains close with the Alabama program and says he talks to the coaches quite often.
"I call up there at least once a week and see how everything's going," Clinton-Dix said. "I think they were down here watching the game."
Alabama might have a bit of a home-field advantage when the Tide practice in Orlando to prepare for the Capital One Bowl against Michigan State. To make things even better, they will be practice at Dr. Phillips High School.
"I'm looking forward to watching them practice a little bit at my high school," Clinton-Dix said.
Clinton-Dix and teammate Demetrius Hart have always seemed to acknowledge the rumors surrounding them with a wink and a smile. Right now the plan is for both players to take a couple of visits together and that's all.
However, even though Clinton-Dix committed to Alabama and Hart committed to Michigan, it's still possible they will end up playing for the same school.
"I'd say it's about 85 percent," Clinton-Dix said. "Maybe 90."
Peat's plan might have to wait
Although the plan is for four-star defensive tackle Todd Peat Jr. (Tempe, Ariz./Corona Del Sol) to make a commitment at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 8, he will still have one visit remaining so the timing might not work.
"It's been a good time with the recruiting so far," Peat said. "I took a little break from the visits because you know it can be a lot to handle."
Peat says his four top schools are Oregon State, Stanford, Arizona State and Nebraska. He had offers from several other programs including Wake Forest, Alabama and Miami. His interest in Miami was high until the Hurricanes fired coach Randy Shannon.
"Coach Shannon and I were close, he was recruiting me," Peat Jr. said. "Then he gets fired and I haven't heard from them since."
It wasn't the only case of coaching switches that he has had to deal with this season.
"In another situation one day Coach [Mike] Tuiasosopo is in my house representing Arizona and the next day I find out he's heading to Colorado," Peat said. "It's crazy out there."
Still Peat is comfortable with the schools he has chosen.
"It's all about the right opportunity for me to go some place and be able to make an early impact and have a solid career," Peat said. "It's about football and knowing that academically I'm set up for life. In the end the scholarship is there to work towards getting an education."
Whether he makes that decision at the Army game, however, remains to be seen.
News and notes
• According to the Orlando Sentinel and several other outlets, Under Armor All-America defensive back Nick Waisome (Groveland, Fla./South Lake) has flipped from Florida to Florida State. Waisome, No. 64 in the ESPNU 150, took an official visit to Tallahassee last week and took his official to Florida this weekend with the expectation that he would reaffirm his commitment. Instead he became FSU's 22nd verbal in the Class of 2011 and its 11th member of the ESPN 150.
• Running backs Jeremy Hill (Baton Rouge, La./Redemptorist) and Marlin Lane (Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland) and defensive back Erique Florence (Valley, Ala./Valley) were part of a huge group of official visitors at Auburn this past weekend. Hill recently decommitted from LSU and Lane remains a verbal commitment to Clemson. Florence has long been leaning toward Auburn but will take visits to USC and Alabama next month before making a decision on national signing day.
Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at email@example.com.