5-star junior OL Devontae Dobbs has good feeling about Georgia
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet for Wednesday calls for a recap of a conversation with 5-star offensive lineman Devontae Dobbs. He’s from Michigan in Big Ten country, but he already has a fondness for UGA and line coach Sam Pittman.
Devontae Dobbs knows something about dreams. He wants to know more about them, too.
The 5-star prospect is from Michigan and even though he’s rated as the nation’s top tackle on the 247Sports composite for the 2019 cycle, he might not stick there. Dobbs said he thinks he can play tackle on Saturdays, but he also might be seen as an elite guard.
He also happens to have one of the more interesting college majors we will chronicle on these pages.
“I want to [major] in sleep studies and I want to minor in psychology,” Dobbs said.
Sleep studies? That one inspired a triple take.
“Polysomnographic reading,” he replied back. “There is a whole bunch of stuff that is under that.”
Not too many schools cover that in their course overview. Especially not in the Power 5 conferences.
Dobbs said Baker College in Michigan does not have a football team but has a great program in that field. But that school will probably not be offering any 5-star tackles any time soon.
He started to immerse himself in that world through simple association. It was what one of the Belleville (Mich.) High School team moms did for her vocation.
“I went to shadow her [at her job] one time and everything that she was doing was just really interesting,” Dobbs said.
He even said he has developed a skill to control his dreams.
“Say if I’m having a nightmare or a situation [in my dream] that I can make myself fly,” Dobbs said. “Then I can just leave from all of that. Basically. Stuff like that. I can just control it to whatever I want to do. Like when [my dream] first starts off, I can control it.”
The schools that are in close contact with Dobbs include Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State. He said that those schools are contacting him “all the time,” adding location won’t factor into his choice.
Ohio State texts him every day, he said, and has been the most steadfast in the pursuit with contact from offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and coach Urban Meyer. Recently departed defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs visited his school a couple of times.
The 6-foot-5, 280-pound junior rates as the nation’s No. 9 overall prospect for 2019 and has a decision timeline in mind.
“I want to make it before the first game of the season,” said Dobbs, who said he also will work to enroll early in January 2019. He said he hopes to be ready to commit to a school by then but probably will wait a few weeks to announce the choice.
How Devontae Dobbs views Georgia
Dobbs said that the Bulldogs were doing a “real good” job of recruiting him so far.
“I have a good relationship with coach Pittman so they have been recruiting me real hard,” Dobbs said. “I like him.”
The Michigan native said that he already trusts the futures of the coaches at Georgia, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State.
“I feel like they have a real stable coaching staff right now,” Dobbs said of all those schools.
He said “coach trust” will be the No. 1 factor that powers his decision.
“I don’t want to go to a school and then the O-line coach that recruited me will be like, ‘Oh, no, I am going over here’,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs said he knows a few of those schools he trusts will receive an official visit. He said Georgia very likely would would get one, considering the distance he’d have to travel from Michigan. He said Ohio State also would be likely to get an official visit.
The 5-star junior prospect said he has received a couple of those trademark handwritten letters from Pittman. That’s one of his traits.
Dobbs camped in Athens last summer.
“I learned a whole lot from coach Pittman during the camp,” Dobbs said. “It was real good. I like to go to places, and I want the coaches to show me what they can teach me.”
What the Bulldogs did in 2017 to raise their national reputation doesn’t seem to have had as much of an impact on Dobbs as Pittman’s résumé has.
“It was basically just what Coach Pittman has been doing in his own way,” Dobbs said. “How many players he has put into the league and just his coaching style has impressed me.”
Alabama is also in contention. Crimson Tide staff texts Dobbs all the times and sends him direct messages via Twitter. Offensive line coach Brent Key is at the forefront of that communication.
Devontae Dobbs and his dream schools
Ray Lyons, a family friend and mentor, said Dobbs has an ideal demeanor to play the line.
“He’s a good kid, man,” Lyons said. “With a great heart. He’s a protector really. That’s what he is. He cares about people.”
There’s a keen intellect to Dobbs. That seems clear given his intended degree pursuit. Lyons said Dobbs told him he paid attention to which schools and coaches were nice to him when he was an eighth-grader and as a freshman, before he became a known quantity.
Those are, naturally, the schools he has taken the most liking to now that he has five stars by his name.
“That’s why he likes certain situations and that’s why he related well to Sam [Pittman] and Georgia,” Lyons said. “That’s because of how the way they work. He also did something else there, which was talking to the guys that are on the team. He talked to the linemen and they all told him good things. They told him that [Pittman] was a hard ass. They told him that he worked them real hard, but that he would talk to them and really listen to what they have to say. That’s all it is. He’s a trusting kid. When he really trusts you, then he locks on and he trusts you.”
Lyons also sees legitimate interest from Dobbs in Georgia.
“He loves Sam,” Lyons said. “He really does like Sam Pittman and the guys down in Georgia that coach there. They are really genuine.”
Dobbs could time that visit to UGA to coincide with the spring game. That could be a new way to showcase the program. That’s another reason why coach Kirby Smart mentioned at the end of his Signing Day news conference how important it is to pack Sanford Stadium on G-Day.
Dobbs saw Alabama, Clemson and Georgia during his summer tour through the South. But where he winds up is anybody’s guess. He said at the Future 50 last month he could see himself at all of the schools he listed as the major contacts so far. He also his family tree branches along both sides of the Michigan and Michigan State debate.
What might be another big factor in his decision?
“Just to feel comfortable,” Dobbs said. “I want to feel comfortable and to be able to trust the coach.”
He might even just be able to see that school in his dreams one day.
“I’ve already been offered by my dream schools,” Dobbs said. “My dream schools to be offered by were Tennessee and Penn State. But now it is all about recruiting.”
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