Todd Orlando is a huge fan of versatile defensive talents and on Wednesday, he added another as Fort Worth Eastern Hills outside linebacker Byron Hobbs officially joined the Texas Longhorns by faxing in his NLI during the early signing period:
Of the Longhorns currently on board today, Hobbs became the first to join head coach Tom Herman’s 2018 class on April 7. Despite holding 14 total offers, the February 24 invitation from the Longhorns was essentially the only one that mattered, as Hobbs remained all Texas all the way.
That’s excellent news for the ‘Horns, as the linebacker-receiver is still years away from playing his best football. A two-way talent for Eastern Hills, Hobbs put his versatility on full display due to the sheer fact that he's a Power 5 level outside linebacker capable of thriving at wide receiver.
His senior season was set to be the one that placed him on the national stage, but a dislocated collarbone forced Hobbs to watch from the sideline for more than half of 2017. Yet, despite playing only five games, Hobbs notched 51 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 15 hurries, and eight sacks as an undeniable difference maker.
Still a bit undersized at just 216 pounds, Hobbs has an excellent frame to build upon at 6’4, but it may be a year or two before his potential comes to fruition in Austin.
Burnt Orange Nation’s Wescott Eberts previously detailed Hobbs’ versatility.
“With his length and change-of-direction ability, Hobbs can cover a great deal of ground in a short amount of time, then finish with his exceptional tackling radius. Plus, since he has verified 4.78 speed, his burst over 10-20 yards is also strong and should improve as he matures.
Hobbs may need some time to develop once he gets to Texas, but his remarkable frame and excellent athleticism for his size help him project as a potential difference maker at the hybrid B-backer position in Todd Orlando’s defense.”
247Sports provided another evaluation on the high-upside linebacker’s talent:
“Hobbs is an athletic outside linebacker prospect who is able to make plays in the open field, put pressure on the quarterback, and has the skills to be successful as defender versus the passing game and the run. On tape, it is good to be able to see Hobbs make tackles in space and cover speedy players out into the flats and after the catch. He has a long and lean frame and pays high at times, but he also uses it to his advantage to bat down passes or reach out to grab ball carriers.”
A consensus three-star prospect, Hobbs is ranked as the No. 426 prospect nationally, the No. 26 outside linebacker, and the No. 57 player in Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.