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June 20, 2005

Happy Father's Day!

Oviedo (Fla.) defensive tackle Corey Hobbs wanted to do something special for his father Randy on Father's Day and what could be more meaningful to a longtime Gator fan than for his son to announce that he was committing to the University of Florida.

Hobbs made the commitment and then was forced to keep it a secret for almost an entire month in order for the surprise to work.

"Well actually I was 98% sure three weeks ago going into the Florida camp. I got to hang out with coach Mattison there and that really sealed the deal for me. I actually committed the next day, the Sunday after the camp to coach Meyer and coach Mattison and asked them to keep it a secret from my family because I wanted to give it to my dad as a Father's Day present."

In this day and age, in the world of the Internet, keeping a secret is virtually impossible. Word of a Father's Day commitment has been circulating for the past week.

"It almost slipped out a couple of times. It was hard, but it was definitely worth it. The whole coaching staff played along with it too. My dad would talk to coach Strong and he would tell my dad, 'Is he ready to commit yet?'"

Sunday evening, after three agonizing weeks of keeping it under wraps, that public commitment finally came to fruition.

"I called coach Meyer at six o'clock yesterday and handed the phone to my dad so that coach Meyer could give him the big news. It was cool, my dad was speechless. My whole family was happy. My mom and my sister were crying. It was a great feeling.

"I've always liked the Gators. My whole family are Gators. My dad was born at Shands on campus. My grandma loves the Gators. If I went anywhere else she said she would disown me."

The 6-foot-3, 310 pounder is the No. 20 rated prospect in the state of Florida. He will start out on the defensive side of the ball.

"Coach Mattison wants me at three-technique, defensive tackle. That's the plan, that's where they want me."

Florida fans in the Gainesville area can expect to see plenty of Hobbs in the next eight or so months before he officially signs.

"I'm going to try to go to every home game and then take my official visit for either the Florida State or Tennessee game. It's so close, I'll be back and forth all the time."

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