Is anybody still questioning Josh Heupel’s ability to recruit? Tennessee football just went into Mack Brown’s backyard and plucked a superstar edge rusher right out of the heart of North Carolina just as the Tar Heels, who were pursuing him heavily, were in contention for the ACC title.
Daevin Hobbs, who is a five-star on On3 but a four-star everywhere else, committed to Rocky Top on Black Friday. In addition to UNC, the Vols beat out the Alabama Crimson Tide, Georgia Bulldogs, Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines.
Coming out of Robinson High School in Concord, N.C., Hobbs stands between 6’4″ and 6’5″ and weighs in the range of 260 to 280 pounds. The Cabarrus County prospect announced his commitment to Tennessee football Friday evening on Twitter.
Given what happened against the Georgia Bulldogs and South Carolina Gamecocks, it’s clear the Vols need more depth among edge rushers. Byron Young and Tyler Baron are still good, but if they are off, Tim Banks still doesn’t have a lot of players to turn to just yet.
Because of his frame, Hobbs is listed as a bit of a tweener. He is a strongside defensive end on Rivals, a defensive end on ESPN and a defensive lineman on 247Sports and On3. That level of versatility is a perfect fit for Banks’ scheme.
Right now, it’s unclear when he gets to the next level if he’ll play more in the middle or on the outside, but he should have no trouble playing anywhere on the line. That hybrid lineman hasn’t been as deep this year either given the departures of Caleb Tremblay and Ja’Quain Blakely from last year. Here is a look at his highlight reel.
As you can see, Hobbs’ versatility also allows him to play tight end, which shows that he clearly has a ton of speed. He’s great at blocking because of that as well, and it’s clear he understands leverage on defense when trying to get into the backfield.
Simply put, Hobbs is a perfect pickup for anybody, and Tennessee football got a potential All-American by adding him. The Vols have four defensive ends in their 2023 class now, so this issue of depth shouldn’t exist by the time they kickoff next year.