Marshall and West Virginia football target Karson Hobbs (6-foot-1, 180-pounds) spoke to WV Sports Now on Monday. The cornerback from Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Ohio has only received those two scholarship offers thus far. Hobbs mentioned that he appreciates West Virginia enough for considering him early, that he will always keep them in the mix no matter where his recruitment goes.
“They were the first school in the Big 12 to offer me,” said Hobbs. “That’s exciting and I feel like, no matter who offers me, (West Virginia) will always be in the mix, somehow because they were the first people to really take that chance on me.”
Despite only just now getting an offer from West Virginia, Hobbs has a significant connection to the school. Hobbs is trained by former West Virginia and NFL star Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones, who as a defensive back was the sixth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. Jones dealt with off-the-field issues throughout much of his NFL career which eventually led to him spending most of it in Cincinnati with the Bengals.
On-the-field that move to Cincinnati helped Jones were in the last five years (2013-17) he spent there he had 11 of his 17 career interceptions. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2015 and an NFL All-Pro in 2014. He retired following the 2018 season which he spent with the Denver Broncos.
“I have a trainer, Pac-Man Jones, he trains there,” said Hobbs. “It was big deal for me to get offered there. Especially being trained by, the sixth overall pick in the draft from there.
“He’s very pushy. He’s always pushing me to be my best. It’s different. It’s not a joke. A lot of the sessions, they’ll really get to you. But you know that every single time you’re going to get better.”
The two-sport athlete who also runs track has gotten better in the defensive backfield considering he didn’t play that position at all prior to last season. Previously Hobbs was a wide receiver. He only recently started playing defensive back because his team’s top corner back got hurt during the season.
“Ever since then, that’s what I’m going to be forever,” said Hobbs.
Now he actually compares himself as a player to Jones. Jones was known for his physical and sometimes controversial style of play during his NFL tenure. He was once fined $35,000 after a helmet-to-helmet hit on Oakland Raiders’ wide receiver Amari Cooper to which Jones responded, “I play with a passion. There’s no way I’d still be playing if I didn’t play that way.
“My line, you can’t walk with the line. When the line is crossed, you either click on or you click off. So I don’t know about the line. As far as in life you have to walk like that, but on the field, I’m just one of those guys who plays with no seat belt. I’m not going to change the way I play for nobody. As long as it’s not hurting my team then I’m cool. I know the difference between playing smart and reckless and playing smart and reckless and doing dumb things. Hopefully that won’t happen anymore.”
On top of Jones, Hobbs looks up to Las Angeles Rams star Jalen Ramsey, who is coming off his first Super Bowl victory against the Bengals. Ramsey has been arguably the top corner back in the NFL since he entered the league with the Jacksonville Jaguars back in 2016. Ramsey has been to the Pro Bowl each of the last five seasons and is a three-time first-team All Pro (2017, 2020-21). He has 15 career interceptions in his six-year career.
As for Marshall, he was offered after the school came to see his high school practice. After seeing Hobbs work out, the school decided to offer him. He plans on visiting Marshall and West Virginia during the same weekend and will also be doing a camp at Marshall, something that he isn’t sure he’ll do at West Virginia.
“I’m kind of starting to know more and more about the program (at Marshall) as each day goes by,” said Hobbs. “West Virginia, I’ve know a lot about that program. Both of those schools, especially kind of being in the same area, it’s pretty cool because then I can visit both.”