March 5, 2008

Dobbs King of the Mat

Shhh. Don't tell Georgia strength and conditioning coach Dave Van Halanger. Mat Drills come easy to redshirt sophomore defensive end Demarcus Dobbs.

At least they appear to.

Dobbs recently secured "A's" in five of the six stations Van Halanger lays out for the Bulldogs to complete. Word had it that the Savannah native was a perfect 6-for-6.

Well, not quite.

"Actually, I had A's in five of them. What happened, I got to sit out the next day, sit out every station that I got an A in. I only had to do one and I got a B+ in that one," Dobbs smiled. "I was pretty successful in it last year, too. Being successful in Mat Drills is just a stepping stone to what I hope will be success on the field."

Based on Dobb's showing in Wednesday's practice, his hard work appears to be paying off.

Head coach Mark Richt singled out Dobbs following the Bulldogs' latest workout Wednesday, acknowledging that the effort is indeed showing up on the field.

"I'd say there probably is a little bit of carryover," Richt said. "He's done a very good job."

According to Dobbs, being successful in Mat Drills is simply a case of putting mind over matter. Believing you will succeed is half the proverbial battle.

"Most of the guys are able to do it physically, but some of them struggle," Dobbs said. "Everybody's got the ability. They just have to push themselves through it.

"It's not easy. You wake up at 4 a.m., you're tired, and you don't want to go. You know the coaches are going to be there, pushing you to your limit. It's all about what you take out of it and what you're willing to accomplish."

That goes for Dobbs' position at defensive end, where the former Calvary Baptist star is one of a number of athletes vying for a starting role.

"Right now the depth chart is all over the place," said Dobbs, who is playing both the Buck and Rush End positions. "Everybody's fighting for the top jobs. There's a lot of talent, and it's real competitive.
"But the thing about it is, we're having fun, even though we're out there competing against one another. There's always good vibes, in the meeting room and when we go out there on the field, even though in the end we know there's only one person who is going to get that starting job."

Dobbs, who played in all 13 games for the Bulldogs last year, believes he and the rest of the ends, including Rod Battle, Jeremy Lomax, Jarius Wynn, Justin Houston, Neland Ball and Michael Lemon compliment each other very well.

"Everybody has their little secret weapon about them, their own style," Dobbs said. "Even though we know only two people can start, we all know that we're going to be on the field, we're all going to get plenty of playing time next fall."

The 6-2 Dobbs currently tips the scales at 270.

"I've been pretty consistent with my weight since Day One," he said. "In a way, it's kind of surprising that I've been able to keep my speed up and still move, but due to some hard work, I've been able to do that."


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