BEAVERTON, Ore. — Tackle Devontae Dobbs was the only junior offensive lineman at The Opening, and he was grateful for the opportunity.
Oftentimes high-profile prospects have a sense of entitlement while attending a prestigious event such as The Opening, where 166 of the top players in the nation competed for three days at Nike Headquarters. Dobbs was the opposite of those players.
“It’s a true blessing,” Dobbs said. “This is the best experience I’ve ever had building relationships with the top players in the country.”
He credits the way he was raised for being so appreciative of attending The Opening.
“That’s just where I came from and the way I was raised just to be humble,” said Dobbs, who has a 29.8-inch vertical jump. “When you get something, it doesn’t mean you have to flash it. You never have to brag; you never have to show it off. Just keep it to yourself, keep your head down and keep pushing.”
Dobbs, 6-5, 290 pounds of Belleville, Mich., has scholarship offers from schools such as Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, UCLA, LSU, Auburn, Penn State, Oregon and numerous others. He received an offer from University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Coach Bret Bielema during an April 5 visit to campus with some teammates.
He connected with offense line coach Kurt Anderson during the trip.
“It went pretty good,” Dobbs said. “The O-line coach was pretty laid-back, he was pretty chill. He’s a person you could really connect with.”
Dobbs remains interested in the Hogs and wants to return to Fayetteville.
“The interest level is pretty high,” Dobbs said. “They’re always sending me letters showing me they’re interested in me. I want to get back there as soon as possible.”
The Hogs’ facilities caught Dobbs off guard.
“Yeah, the facilities were pretty nice, and I wasn’t expecting that,” Dobbs said. “They had a real good weight room.”
Dobbs felt a good vibe with the Razorback coaching staff because of Michigan ties. Offensive coordinator Dan Enos played and coached at Michigan State along with being the head coach of Central Michigan. Anderson played and coached at Michigan and Eastern Michigan.
“The way they welcome,” Dobbs said. “A whole lot of the coaches are from Michigan and some played at Central Michigan and some played at Michigan and Michigan State. I feel like that’s a good background they have.”
He embraced the chance to learn from several of the NFL players working at The Opening, which ended Monday.
“I want to take some stuff back home,” he said. “I want to better my whole offensive line and the team.”
Arkansas Razorbacks offensive line target Curtis Dunlap Jr. is ESPN’s No. 2 rated center and No. 121 overall prospect.
Dunlap, 6-5, 363, of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., has more than 40 scholarship offers, but he announced a top five of Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia and Michigan on March 26.
ESPN recruiting coordinator Craig Haubert is impressed with Dunlap’s desire to get better.
“Dunlap is an interesting guy,” Haubert said. “He’s still coming along. He’s really worked hard to make sure the size he carries is the right size. He’s not just a big body. You’re starting to see this time over the last year that he’s making strides to do that. I think one thing in talking to him is he wants to
Dunlap, who plans to visit all five of his finalists and make a decision in October, is planning to enroll in January at his school of choice. Haubert believes Dunlap has a higher ceiling than many others at his position.
“I think when you look at some of the best centers in the country, would you include him in that group?” Haubert said. “Yes, but he’s a little bit further along than some of those guys, but also with that comes some more upside.”
Email Richard Davenport at email@example.com