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A smart, instinctive player, Ellis Hobbs has been a mainstay in the Cyclone secondary the last three years, doing a very good job of calling assignments. A National Honor Society member, Hobbs was originally recruited as a running back, but shifted to the defensive side of the ball when he reported to fall camp as a true freshman.
Hobbs was All-Dallas Metroplex, Offensive MVP for Texas Class 5A District VII, and was named to the Texas Sportswriters' Association Class 5A honorable-mention team as a senior at DeSoto (Texas) High. He ran for 1,701 yards on 233 carries with 29 touchdowns at the same school that produced Texas Tech All-American Byron Hanspard. He also caught 18 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns. The team captain as a junior and senior, Hobbs battled injuries his freshman and sophomore seasons, then backed up former Oklahoma State running back Tatum Bell (Denver) as a junior. He also lettered in track, competing in the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays and the long jump.
In 2001, Hobbs appeared in 11 games as a reserve cornerback, posting 16 tackles (11 solo) with an interception, and gained 91 yards on six kickoff returns. In 2002, he began a string of 38 consecutive starts, producing 51 tackles (40 solo) with two interceptions and 12 pass deflections as a sophomore.
He earned game MVP honors three times in 2003, as Hobbs collected 71 tackles (51 solo) with an interception, nine pass breakups, a 53-yard return on a fumble recovery and 111 yards on six kickoff returns. The three-time ISU Scholar-Athlete was also named to the All-Big 12 Conference first team as a senior. He registered 71 tackles (53 solo), a sack, eight pass deflections and five interceptions. He also averaged 24 yards on 12 kickoff returns.
Hobbs closed out his career with 209 tackles (155 solo), two sacks for minus-14 yards, 3½ stops for losses of 20 yards, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and 29 pass deflections. He gained 121 yards and a touchdown on nine interceptions and 490 yards on 24 kickoff returns (20.4 avg.).
Positives: Has a tight waist and hips and minimal body fat (5.7 percent) … Aggressive athlete who makes plays against the run and pass and has also proven to be a very effective gunner on the punt coverage unit … Can also handle kickoff return duties in an emergency … Coachable, committed player who sometimes overworks in the weight room but shows good dedication … Has a good nose for the ball and is especially active in run support … Plays the ball aggressively … Has the leaping ability to play bigger than his size indicates and will not hesitate to sacrifice his body and go vertical to make the play … Solid tackler who will break down, face up, wrap and secure, showing aggression making the hit … Better in press coverage than playing off the receiver, as he uses his hands effectively to reroute his opponent … Has a good shuffle/slide technique in his backpedal and shows the range to cover ground in plays in front of him … Takes on blocks with determination and is very active with his hands in attempts to disengage … Made very good improvements with his hands in 2004, extending away from the frame to snatch and pluck the ball … For a player with such marginal size, his frame displays impressive strength … Can plant and accelerate quickly out of his breaks … Has very good field instincts and intelligence and will not have problems dealing with the mental aspect of the game … Shows very good leadership ability and will not hesitate getting on teammates when needed.
Negatives: Has marginal size (5-foot-9) and a lean, yet compact build … Does not do a good job of playing off the receiver, as he tends to lose a step because of hip stiffness and does not have that second gear needed to recover … Eyes the backfield too much and this causes him to lose a feel for the receiver's location, resulting in getting beaten in man coverage … Shows good aggression as a run stuffer, but a lack of size will see the bigger runners bounce off his tackles … Needs backpedal technique refinement, as he shows some wasted motion in his turn (tight hips) and this will result in him losing position on the receiver … If the receiver shows a good burst in the go route, Hobbs does not have the recovery burst to compensate.
2001: Suffered a left knee partial meniscus tear Nov. 1, but did not miss any games.
Attended DeSoto (Texas) High, playing football for coach Ben Dial … Named to the All-Dallas Metroplex Area first-team … Offensive MVP for Texas Class 5A District 7 and selected to the Texas Sportswriters' Association Class 5A honorable mention team … Ran for 1,701 yards on 233 carries with 29 touchdowns at the same school that produced Texas Tech All-American Byron Hanspard … Also caught 18 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns … Team captain as a junior and senior … Battled injuries his freshman and sophomore seasons and then backed up former Oklahoma State running back Tatum Bell as a junior … Participated in track, competing in the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays and the long jump … Member of the National Honor Society.
Art and visual communication major … Three-time ISU Scholar-Athlete … Received the Academic Athlete of the Year Award and was a finalist for Christian Athlete of the Year … Uncle, William Gaines, played defensive line for Florida and later competed for the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins … Son of Nettie and Ellis Hobbs … Born 5/16/83 in Niagara Falls, N.Y. … Resides in DeSoto, Texas.