Cobb provides intangibles for DHS

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 4, 2009

Larry Cobb does not carry a great deal of weight on his 6-foot-2-inch frame. When he steps to the line of scrimmage, lightly pounds his chest twice, kisses his closed fist and then points modestly upward while momentarily turning his gaze to the sky, the rail thin senior receiver and defensive back does not intimidate opponents on appearance alone.

“He wants other players to respect what he’s doing,” Demopolis High School head coach Tom Causey said of the surprising physicality with which Cobb often attacks opponents. “He gives you his entire body. He’ll hit you in the mouth. I think Larry is always trying to prove a point.”

Cobb made 42 tackles in addition to making three interceptions from his cornerback spot in 2008, helping to lead a thin DHS secondary.

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“I just try my best to make the play,” Cobb said. “You can’t be scared trying to make the tackle.”

While Cobb’s physicality from the defensive backfield is easily apparent, it is what he brings as a wide receiver that makes him invaluable to the Tiger offense.

“Larry is a guy that has been one of our better blocking receivers,” Causey said. “He takes great pride in that. When we’re having a bad day at practice, he wants us to run a swing route so he can crack on an outside linebacker and get us going.”

Cobb’s commitment to blocking is unusual for a wide receiver, especially at the high school level. However, Cobb understands something that very few others his age realize. Cobb grasps his athletic deficiencies.

“As far as speed goes, I know I’m not that fast,” Cobb said. “But what I lack in speed, I try to make up for in running routes and blocking. In order for me to get looked at (by collegiate coaches), I know I have to be at the top of my game in route-running and blacking and catching.”

In addition to being the Tigers’ best blocker on the edge, Cobb may well be the team’s purest route-runner.

“He does such a good job blocking that, sometimes, it helps him run a clean route,” Causey said. “He never gives up on a play. He’s taught himself to go full speed to give himself a chance to make a play.”

While Cobb’s skill set has long been evident, his desire to play college football only really surfaced during his junior year.

“My dad, he kept on telling me that I didn’t have to worry about paying for college,” Cobb said. “But I figured if everything worked out in football, then he and my mom could use that money for stuff they need. So I figured I would work hard and try to get myself a scholarship.”

That commitment to his family and doing what he sees as the right thing defines Cobb both on the field and off. That love and commitment spawned his pre-snap ritual.

“It started at seven-on-seven last year at Jackson,” Cobb said. “My grandmother was sick and it was something I did for her. It became a habit. It’s just a thing to get me focused and remind me of the love of my grandmother.”

“I’ve seen Larry grow a ton in terms of character since I’ve been here,” Causey said. “He’s one of our high character guys, a guy I trust. He’s really stepped it up.”