Inside the Class of '06: Antwan Cobb
Photo: Will Gallagher/Inside Texas
Photo: Will Gallagher/Inside Texas

Posted Feb 24, 2006


The 15th in a daily series of 25 interviews and photo essays on members of the Longhorn Class of '06: Signee Antwan Cobb.

Antwan Cobb
Running Back/Linebacker
Pflugerville High School
6-0/205/4.62
NR (at RB): 49 SR: 68 Star Rating: ***

An Inside Texas conversation with Pflugerville head coach George Herrmann on Antwan Cobb:

IT: What are Antwan’s strengths as a football player?

Herrmann: Well, I think he's an all-around athlete, No. 1. We played him both ways, on offense and on defense, and I feel like he can contribute wherever The University of Texas wants to play him. He was a great running back for us. I think he had 2,745 yards for us, 732 receiving, and he had 46 total touchdowns in his career. He's a guy that can do a little bit of everything, he can catch the ball out of the backfield, he can block, he doesn't mind running inside, he doesn't mind running outside. Defensively, he's not afraid to hit, he's not afraid to play defense, and I think that's a possibility at The University of Texas.

IT: In Mack Brown's Signing Day press conference, he talked about the fact that there are so many athletes in this class that are guys that can play multiple spots. Do you see Antwan fitting that bill?

Herrmann: I sure do. I think they're going to give him a shot on offense first, either at fullback or tailback, and then if that doesn't work out he's going to be moved to outside linebacker. That's just my opinion. They'll evaluate him and make that decision.

IT: For you guys, what were his main positions?

Herrmann: Tailback. His main spot was tailback but we would split him out and throw him the ball in our wing T and we ran some I and he dotted the I also. On defense, he played outside linebacker for us because we run a split with four defensive linemen and four linebackers.

IT: Was he a guy that you used almost every play, both offensively and defensively?

Herrmann: No. He spent the majority of his time on offense.

IT: When was the last time he played on the defensive side of the ball?

Herrmann: Against A&M Consolidated in the playoffs. He played there in all of our big games.

IT: What did the Texas coaches tell you that they like about Antwan?

Herrmann: I think they liked that he's an all-around athlete. He doesn't just have to be a tailback. They can use him at different positions if they need to if he it doesn't pan out at the running back position. But probably the biggest thing they said is they liked his character and the smile on his face. He's a kid that's never been in trouble, makes good grades, he's in the PALs program, does community service and is just a good role model.

IT: His recruitment was a little bit different than most of the other Texas signees. He obviously got a late offer...

Herrmann: I think they were impressed that he did wait around and didn't just jump on something else. I know they talked to him in the summer, and they laid it out pretty straight how it was gonna occur and if something fell through then they would have an offer for him later in the year, and pretty much that's how it came about.

IT: Did that speak to the fact that he really loved Texas?

Herrmann: Yeah, he's always loved Texas and I really thought that was where he was gonna go all along if they wanted him. That's the place where he wanted to be and it's a good fit. I know Nebraska offered and he thought there was a high possibility on him going to Nebraska if he didn't go to Texas. That was his next choice.

IT: It's very evident from the attitude you hear expressed from the players in the Texas program currently and from talking to high school coaches and kids that there is a family atmosphere at UT and they really go after character kids. How does Antwan fit into that environment?

Herrmann: He's going to be a perfect fit, I believe, because he's a kid that hasn't been in any type of trouble. He loves his family. Mack Brown made his family welcome when they talked to them and on recruiting trips, and it's just one big happy family down there. I think that's why Mack Brown recruits so well, because he involves the parents and he involves the family-type atmosphere and I think that makes Texas successful and gets people in there and they're able to stick once they're there. They don't lose as many as other programs may lose.

IT: What are the areas of Antwan’s game that he needs to improve upon to be successful in college?

Herrmann: I guess the first thing is get stronger, put a little bit more weight on to take the pounding. It's a little different pounding, the speeds a little different. He's going to have to get in the weight room and throw on a little bit of weight. But I think he has all the other skills, he'll just have to continue developing his speed.

IT: What's he working on right now to get prepared to arrive in Austin in June ready to play?

Herrmann: He's in the weight room every day and he's running track, I believe.

IT: Is he a weight room guy?

Herrmann: Yes, he's in here every afternoon. He's around, out there playing some pick-up football or whatever. He's not going to just sit around.

IT: Going into the Texas situation, with the potential for playing different positions, does he have the football IQ to grasp whatever is thrown at him?

Herrmann: He's strong on the football field. He's very knowledgeable on the football field. You only have to tell him once on a play. Defensively, the same thing. He's sharp and picks up things quickly. He's very coachable.

IT: What are his current measurables?

Herrmann: He's 6-foot, 205.

IT: What do you see Antwan's ideal weight?

Herrmann: I'd say 220. I'm pretty sure he can carry 220.

IT: Was Antwan a leader for you guys, and if so, how did he lead?

Herrmann: He was voted a captain for the year. He led by example. He wasn't much of a rah-rah guy, but he would get in there and talk to the players on Thursday -- we'd have a team meeting and he did a good job of carrying on those team meetings. He did a great job.

IT: What did Antwan mean to your football program?

Herrmann: He's the type of player that never said "I" or "me" or "I need this many carries, I need this much, I'm the star, I've gotta have this" because there were other players that complemented him and he complemented them. He's a team person and that's what he meant to our team. He took the team first and didn't take "I" me first.

IT: Is there a defining moment for you that exemplifies Antwan's ability as a football player?

Herrmann: The ability that he has, I've seen him tight-rope the sideline and make people miss and hesitate on a move. He's run back kickoffs where he's done that. I guess his defining moment was probably the Westlake game. I don't know the stats, he just had a tremendous game both running the football and receiving. I think he had a couple of touchdown catches and just did a tremendous job.

IT: You mentioned he had 700 yards receiving in his career and a great Westlake game catching the ball. How good are his hands and route-running?

Herrmann: They're super. He can do it. He can do it from splitting him out in the slot because we did that and split him out at split end too. He's a great route runner and his ability to catch the ball has got to be a plus.

IT: Did he work in the return game for you guys?

Herrmann: Just kickoffs.

IT: Do you see him doing that at the next level?

Herrmann: I can see him doing kickoffs. He just didn't fall in love with punt returns and he seemed more comfortable on kickoffs and I can see him doing that at the next level.

IT: Is there anything you'd like to add about Antwan that we didn't already cover?

Herrmann: He's a quality individual. That's the No. 1 thing. They're getting a person that has great character and a person that is going to be around for four or five years.

UT's Signing Day bio: An all-state and two-time all-district selection who played primarily at running back, but also saw action linebacker and safety … tallied 2,182 yards and 29 TDs on 270 carries (8.1 ypc) over his final two seasons … earned second-team 5A all-state honors as a senior … tabbed first-team 5A all-region II … named district 15-5A offensive MVP … named to Dave Campbell's Super Team third-team in the preseason … rushed for 1,670 yards and 24 TDs on 191 carries (8.7 ypc) as a senior … also had 22 receptions for 417 yards (19.0 ypr) and three TDs … returned 15 kickoffs for 383 yards (25.5 ypr) … rushed for 250 yards and three TDs and recorded 350 all-purpose yards versus Austin Westlake … named first-team All-CenTex as a junior … tabbed first-team all-district … rushed for 512 yards and five TDs on 79 carries (6.5 ypc) and helped Pflugerville to an 8-4 record as a junior … named Central Texas Sophomore of the Year in 2003 … also named first-team all-district as a punt returner that year … also competed in track and field and basketball … ran the 100m and 200m and made it to regionals as a sophomore … played forward in basketball as a sophomore … an honor roll student who earned academic all-district honors as a sophomore, junior and senior … participated in PALs, collecting pennies for patients … has helped feed the homeless through his church … enjoys creating beats with his friends, watching movies and playing basketball … twin brother, Antonio, will play offensive line for Sam Houston State … full name is Antwan Maurice Cobb … born on Dec. 15, 1987 in Heidelburg, Germany … moved to Texas in fifth grade.

"When I first moved from Germany, my grandfather got me into the Texas life, and from watching Wane McGarity and Major Applewhite, and all those guys, I just fell in love with the Longhorns. I just bleed orange. I already knew I was sold before I got there, but when I visited, it just made my commitment that much stronger."

NEXT WEEK:
JAMES HENRY (MONDAY)
BUCK BURNETTE (TUESDAY)
GREG SMITH (WEDNESDAY)
HUNTER LAWRENCE (THURSDAY)
ROY WATTS (FRIDAY)

All photos: Will Gallagher/Inside Texas



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