As a running back, you don't see
the craziness in football players like you do on the other side of the ball.
They have to be a little more level-headed, even more even-keeled in their
demeanor. When you look over at the defensive side of the ball, if you are one
of those offensive players, you could find yourself a little jealous.
Why do they get to have all the
fun? Whey can't we go crazy out there and just let it all hang loose?
Pflugerville high school's Antwan Cobb doesn't have to worry about that, because he's one of the many stellar
athletes that gets to play both ways. And for what he might lack in insanity
when carrying the ball, he makes up for it when he's going after those for his
primary recruited position.
"I'm nuts out there, going crazy
and just yelling," Cobb said of when he's playing linebacker for his team. "I'm
yelling at my teammates to get everyone going or the other team, telling them
that they better not come my way."
"I'm just yelling at everyone.
It's not just indiscriminate
tirades either as there's a method to the madness, but when Cobb gets that one
shot on defense that every defensive player wants on him when he's toting the
rock on the other side, the message gets a lot more specific.
"I remember when I got this shot
on this guy, I hit him so hard, all I could tell him was to get up," Cobb said.
"I know I hit him really hard and I think I hurt him pretty good, so I just
figured if he got up, he was doing good."
Cobb's not doing too bad either,
taking advantage of his reputation as an accomplished running back, linebacker;
basically an all-around player. He's getting the attention to match.
That's not easy in
Texas, where the standout high school
football players are across the landscape of the lonestar state like there are
cactus in the deep south of California. To get one offer, two or more,
you've got to be good.
Cobb is that, the 6 foot,
200-plus pound athlete as potent on the track as he is on the field, a
combination that schools find one of the most ideal attractions and thus far,
Cobb's got nine written commitments from them, with letters indicating that
there's going to be a lot more in the future.
"Texas A&M, Kansas State, Nebraska,
Missouri, UTEP and Oklahoma State are some of the schools," Cobb said.
"But there's more than I think I will be looking at down the road."
That's where Cobb would like to
be right now, off visiting all of the schools that have offered and some of
those that are currently riding the fence. Not being a realistic goal, though,
Antwan is doing what any smart high school player and student would do.
"The internet, that's where I am
looking a lot of this stuff up," Cobb said. "I do as much research as I can on
every school that I can, so if I can't visit there, I get to know as much as I
can about what matters to me."
Cobb did say that he's not
looking up a lot on certain schools, because for right now, he's pretty certain
he's going to officially visit once his season arrives. "Right now and this
could change, but I'd say Nebraska,
Kansas State and Oklahoma State are places I am going to visit," he
said. "I don't know about others; maybe Florida, but that's all real up in the air
What's not up in the air is
comforting for Husker fans, because Cobb isn't naming any favorites, but his
relationship with Nebraska has been consistent from the start.
"They were my first offer, but they are still recruiting me just like they were
at the beginning," Cobb said. "I think I have gotten to know every single coach
there, so I have learned a lot about what they do there and about the
The future is what Nebraska looks to right
now, because the recent past is something most would like to forget. For Cobb,
though, he's not looking at any of that, because that's not what matters to him
in the end. "Is it a place that feels like home?" Cobb asked rhetorically. "Do I
get along with the coaches, the players; is it a place where I am
"I'm not worried about getting on
the field right away or any of that, because my education is more important to
me than football."
That's almost ironic considering
the state Cobb plays football in, but refreshing just the same and for Cobb,
he'll no doubt look at many things that perhaps the stereotypical recruit might
leave as one of the last criteria on their list.
One thing they will both have in
common, though, they'll wonder if the freedom they have at high school is the
same freedom they will have once they don the colors of their college team. "I
can't imagine I would ever change how I am out there, no matter what side of the
ball I play," Cobb said. "I'll be excited, yelling my team on and doing
everything I can to get the win."
"You play this game to win, but
you can't help but have fun. Who wouldn't have fun doing this?"
Cobb figures as one of NU's best
shots at running back right now, followed closely by Rancho, Cordova, California back, James Montgomery. There are
other big names like Pennsylvania's LeSean McCoy, but he's more a
pipe dream than a reality at this point.
Stanley Havili is another back
that is highly touted, but the Utah prep-star figures to do what his teammate
Alex Cate did; opt for a school other than the Huskers.
Getting noticed in Texas isn't easy, especially if you play football at the high school level. Within what is arguably the most religious state when it comes to following the prep level on the gridiron, you can't swing a dead cat and not hit one future star after another. Antwan Cobb knows this, but he doesn't talk to get noticed; he yells instead.