After a slight lull in the recruiting action, the Tennessee Volunteers are moving up the board. Just one week after a commitment from running back Khalifa Keith, Tennessee sends a strong message by grabbing 4-star defensive end Daevin Hobbs. He announced the news on Friday.
Hobbs (6-foot-4, 277 pounds) ranks as the 95th overall player in the 2023 class, according to the 247Sports Composite numbers. 247Sports’ own evaluation is even higher, putting him at 38th overall as the No. 5 defensive lineman. He plays at Jay M. Robinson High School in Concord, North Carolina, where he does a bit of everything for their football team. He plays defensive end, defensive tackle, running back, wide receiver, Wildcat quarterback, literally any position where his team feels they need an athletic edge. That translates over to the basketball court as well, where Hobbs averaged almost 15 points last year on a state champion squad. That’s right, Hobbs is another vaunted dual sport athlete.
It’s obvious that he will switch full time to defensive line when he gets to Tennessee. Hobbs wears 277 pounds pretty well, so it’s going to be a question of which part of the defensive line they want to shift him to. My first instinct is defensive tackle. Hobbs has a ton of raw athletic ability and quick hands that allows him to get past blockers. But he doesn’t look overly twitchy to me. He could probably make a living in the Tyler Baron role of Tennessee’s defense, but I’d wonder if that’s the right allocation of his skillset. Basically, why be good at defensive end when you can be great at defensive tackle?
The one concern I would have is adjusting to the competition level. Yes, it applies to all recruits. For Hobbs especially, a lot of his highlights are him being the superior athlete. Given that Tennessee already has a pretty deep defensive line in the coming years, I’m not sure if we see Hobbs for a bit.
Hobbs’ commitment is yet another feather in the cap for Rodney Garner. Hobbs received major interest from Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina. Tennessee was running behind the pack for a while. Thanks to an (overall) successful season and a strong push from the staff, Tennessee took the lead late. Now Hobbs comes in as the fourth highest ranked recruit in Tennessee’s 2023 class.
Accumulating talented players inside the top 100 is a very encouraging sign for the future. Tennessee isn’t just getting talented players. They’re getting some of the most talented players in the country. Tennessee now has four top 100 commits and another four in the top 200.