Name to Know: Caleb Hobson
Caleb Hobson never stops competing. The school year starts with pads in the fall, then sneakers in the winter and ends cleats in the spring. He just completed his sophomore school year, a 10-month timespan in which he starred for Pontotoc in football, basketball and baseball.
And though he was roaming centerfield and swiping bases on the diamond while spring football was going down, he still got a feel for what his teammates were able to accomplish in that time. Additionally, he feels the same skills that aid him in other sports will, too, help him this upcoming football season.
“They improved on toughness,” Hobson told SES Mississippi. “Playing three sports helps me stay in shape and can help with vision and quickness.”
Vision and quickness are two attributes that Hobson has an abundance of. And when those combine with his speed, well then you have one of the state’s most electrifying underclassmen.
As a sophomore last season he was dangerous as a receiver, defensive back and return man. He finished as the Warriors’ second-leading receiver with 30 grabs for 476 yards and six scores. Additionally, he averaged 9.3 yards per carry on 15 totes, for a total of 111 yards and two touchdowns.
In 2018, though, Pontotoc head coach Jeff Carter has an ace up his sleeve. The plan is to use Hobson situationally at quarterback, to take advantage of the same skill set that has made him effective with the ball in his hands at other spots. However, the challenge of moving from cornerback to safety, on the defensive side of the ball, is the challenge he says he’s really having to embrace this offseason.
“Wide receiver, no doubt,” Hobson replied when asked which is his favorite spot. “It feels natural to me, it’s easy. I can show everything I can do as a receiver. Speed, jump, hands, footwork and anything that needs to be shown.”
Though snapping the ball to Hobson is sure to add a wrinkle to the Pontotoc offense that will give opposing defenses headaches, it’s hard to argue his point. As a receiver Hobson has shown the ability to catch the ball downfield, over the middle, on short, forward-pitch passes in the backfield and even a provide workable blocks.
But no matter where he lines up, Hobson is preparing to have more control over the mental aspect of the game.
“I have talked to the coaches on how I need to be more of a leader towards the team,” He explained. “They tell me to take leadership by doing things to keep the coaches from having to say things and helping make the team better every day.”
Between a strong running game, an always sturdy defense and a blossoming star in Hobson, Pontotoc is hoping to find the championship formula this fall. The Warriors have won a combined 25 games over the last two season(13 in 2016, 12 in 2017), but none of those games were a class 4A state championship.
“I think it might just be staying consistent and not taking any plays off in practice, games and even watching film,” Hobson said.
“The secondary on defense, the receiving core, the backfield and quarterback are going to be strengths for us.”
**Photo courtesy of Adam Robison, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal