Devontae Dobbs was on his official visit to Southern Cal over the weekend and he didn’t like what he was hearing.
The 5-star offensive lineman from Belleville (Mich.) was trying to vibe with offensive line coach Neil Callaway. It wasn’t going well.
“He was trying to explain some things to me and it just didn’t sound right,” Dobbs said Monday night.
That’s when he knew Michigan State was the place for him.
Dobbs’ relationship with the coaching staff, the home cooking he can get from home and in East Lansing, and a chance to dominate along the offensive line were all factors in becoming a Spartan.
“I was going over the list of things and my best relationship is with the coaches at Michigan State. I was comparing the offensive line coaches. With Coach Callaway, I was watching film and talking to him and I didn’t completely agree with how he was trying to teach me. I was comparing him to Coach (Mark) Staten. Coach Staten he really teaches us. Coach Callaway is stuck on what he knows and what he knows is the way it is. Coach Staten, he’ll think about it and evaluate it and give me positive feedback instead of repeating whatever he said over again.
“It feels like home. I know the place like the back of my hand. It’s a real big relief. I know people will still be calling me, but I don’t have to reply.’’
Dobbs said the final decision came down to MSU, Florida State, Auburn and USC. The Spartans offered after his freshman year.
“I felt like Michigan State was the best fit for me,” Dobbs said. “I’ve been going up there (MSU) since the seventh grade. Real convenient. It’s close to home. It just felt completely right. It clicked in my head and in my heart. It just feels good. The only other three schools that really had a shot were Florida State, USC and Auburn. I said I needed to go ahead and stop fooling around and go where I really wanted to go.”
Dobbs becomes the centerpiece of the 2019 class for MSU. At 6-foot-4 and 304 pounds, Dobbs is the No. 13 overall prospect in the class, according to the 247Sports Composite. He was named to the Free Press All-West team in 2017. He didn’t allow a sack last year despite not being 100 percent.
He is finally getting healthy after tearing his labrum after his freshman year. He had surgery in February and is close to 100 percent for the first time since being on varsity.
“I’m about at 90 percent right now,” Dobbs said. “When I move fast it doesn’t feel completely stable. I’ll get there at some point. My goal right now is to win the state title. That’s my total focus.”