Jay M. Robinson School (N.C.) standout defensive lineman Daevin Hobbs has quickly turned into one of the most sought-after players in America. The 6'4", 270lbs defensive lineman recently released a top-six consisting of Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. He dives into each contender and more with Sports Illustrated All-American.
"Well, one reason is that it is Alabama," Hobbs said of why the Crimson Tide made his list. "You can never go wrong with Alabama. I have been talking to Coach (Joe) Cox since he was at UNCC. He was one of my first offers at the beginning of my Junior year. I have always had a good connection with him. Recently, I have been talking to Coach Roach and Coach Saban, so that has been great too. It is a winning environment for football."
The Crimson Tide's in-state rival also made Hobb's list, as Brian Harsin's program was also able to host Hobbs on an official visit in June.
"I like Coach Harsin's message towards us," he said of why Auburn is a contender. "He is about being loose but being locked in at the same time. It is not just strictly business every second of your day. He lets you enjoy it but at the same he lets you know the work you have to put in for it. I really like Coach Brumbaugh and the way that he explains things and coaches his players. During the official visit, I don't know why I didn't expect this, but it is a really good college town. There is stuff to do within a reasonable distance, which I didn't really expect."
Staying in the SEC, one program both of the schools from the Yellow Hammer State are familiar with on the recruiting trail is Tennessee. The Vols joined the fray with a late camp offer, but they have still impressed Hobbs enough to be in his top six.
"I have talked to Tennessee for a while," Hobbs said of the Vols. "They took a little longer to offer, but I like Coach Chop, Coach Garner, Coach Banks and Coach Heup and everything they do and the way they are rebuilding the program. Coach Garner's track record is really good at getting people to the league, and playing on Sundays is where I want to be. I enjoy his coaching style."
The final SEC team to make the cut for the big man is Shane Beamer's second-year program, which really impressed him during an unofficial visit.
"When I went up there for my visit, Coach Lindsey made a good impression on me," Hobbs said about the Gamecocks. "I liked what he stands for and how he coaches. It is kind of different from the other places I went to on unofficial visits. It is a really nice-looking campus."
Jim Harbaugh's Michigan team is the only program not in the Southeast featured on Hobb's list, and he has long been a fan of the Wolverines.
"It's the Big House," Hobbs said on Michigan. "When I was little, I played on this team called the "The Powerhouses," and we had a Michigan-style helmet. After we played on Saturdays, I would go home and watch Michigan on the TV. I have always been watching them. They have had pretty good success at D-end with getting kids drafted and to the league recently."
The home-state program in Chapel Hill also made the cut for the standout lineman, and he has a lot of familiarity with what they have to offer.
"It is close, so all of my friends and family would be able to come to every home game and stuff like that," Hobbs said of this. "I like Coach Cross and just the overall feel when I am there. During my official, I got to spend more time with the players to see what life is like outside of football. It is pretty fun there."
Hobbs had originally hoped to nail down a decision by the first week of August, but that is not the case anymore. He wants to ensure that when he commits, he is certain that there will be no de-committing, so he plans to slow things down and take his time.
He plans to visit Georgia and Alabama this upcoming weekend, he tells Sports Illustrated All-American.
Whenever he is ready to make a decision, what is it going to come down to?
"I would say the school that shows the most love and makes me feel welcome," Hobbs said of what he is looking for in a school."Overall a good organization with coaches, players and academics. All of those pretty much put together."
Everyone sees the caliber of player that he is, but when asked to put into his own words what a school will get in him, he offered this.
"They are getting a strong-minded, versatile player that is willing to put in as much hard work as needed for the team to be successful and to do whatever is needed to play at the next level."