Cobbs named to Maxwell Award Watch List #iufb

A solid sophomore season has generated national attention for Simmie Cobbs.

The Indiana receiver has been named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, the university announced Tuesday. That selection places Cobbs, IU’s leading receiver, in select company.

He’s one of only three Big Ten receivers and 16 receivers overall to be included on the early list for the Maxwell Award, which is given annually to “America’s College Player of the Year.” Semifinalists will be announced Oct. 31. Michigan receiver Jehu Chesson and Penn State’s Chris Godwin were also included on the watch list.

Cobbs finished third in the Big Ten with 1,035 receiving yards in 2015, while ranking eighth in the conference with 60 receptions. He scored four touchdowns and became the sixth Hoosier to post a 1,000-yard season, while his total receiving output was the sixth highest in a single year in IU history.

A native of Oak Park, Ill., Cobbs led the Big Ten during the conference season with 18.1 yards per catch and finished second with 670 yards against league opponents. For the full season, Cobbs averaged 79.6 yards, 4.6 receptions per game and 17.2 yards per catch and received an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection.

Although drops have been an issue with Cobbs during both of his two years at IU, the 2015 season provided mostly encouraging results. From Indiana’s point of view, Cobbs’ ceiling remains particularly high.

That’s been an exciting component of Cobbs’ development at IU, where coach Kevin Wilson and his staff have aimed to help Cobbs build better instincts at the position. Cobbs came to IU with a very limited base of playing experience at the high school level, while relying mostly on his natural athleticism to elevate himself as a Big Ten prospect.

At Indiana, establishing better technique has been a major part of the learning curve for Cobbs. But given the tools at his disposal, Cobbs appears on course to continue his growth during his third college season in 2016.

“I’ve never coached a player more athletically gifted than Simmie Cobbs,” Oak Park and River Forest High School coach John Hoerster told The Herald-Times last fall. “When you talk about athleticism, he’s 6-foot-4 and over 210 pounds, he runs like a track star, he can change direction on a dime, he’s strong, he’s physical (and) he’s competitive. He’s got great hands, he’s got great burst, great hips (and) he’s flexible.”

And entering the fall, he’s in good company as a Big Ten receiver.

2 comments

  1. It is good to see IU football players get preseason notice. Cobbs has been a good WR but as the article points out, drops have been a problem. I worry that he isn’t a natural pass catcher but someone that has to work hard at developing the skills. As a result drops may always be an issue with him even while he makes some outstanding catches. Watching his high school tape I thought IU might move him to defense which I thought was his real position; IU coaches obviously saw more in him on the offensive side. I hope this year he turns into a monster at receiver causing opposing defenses nightmares.

  2. vesuvius13,
    Yeah, when Cobbs was committed to Purdue, they seemed to make it clear that they viewed him as a defender. That was why he decommitted. He wanted to play receiver. He obviously has the talent, frame, etc. to play the position, but instincts are an issue that have led to those drops. I remember a play at Wake Forest last fall when he made a great grab along the sideline, but kind of turned his body too quickly to make a move and ended up dropping the ball. I asked Wilson last fall about Cobbs and what he made of his instincts at the position. Wilson said: “I don’t think he’s the most instinctive skill kid we’ve got. He’s okay. He’s not — just, you know, he’s like a lot of kids that I don’t know how much ball he’s really played. I think there’s a lot of upside. I think the more he plays, the better, more natural and instinctive he’ll get.” Big year on deck for Cobbs.

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