Bad news for Belleville football opponents:
Devontae Dobbs has been playing with one healthy arm for more than two years.
The 5-star left tackle thought he tore the labrum in his right shoulder during his freshman season.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the labrum is a fibrocartilage attached to the rim of the shoulder socket that helps keep the ball of the joint in place.
“I believe I tore it my freshman year; really when I started playing football,’’ Dobbs said Tuesday afternoon. “When I first hurt it I didn’t really hurt. I thought I was double jointed, and then when my freshman year came along I think I hurt it worse.
“I kind of hindered how I played because I had to protect myself.’’
When his shoulder kept popping out of place during his junior season, the family finally decided to have it checked out.
Dobbs had surgery in February and goes to rehab in Ann Arbor two to three times a week. He expects to be at full strength by the time fall camp starts.
The injury hasn’t stopped Dobbs, standing 6-feet-4 and weighing 290-pounds, from beating up on defensive linemen and linebackers for the last two-plus seasons with one arm.
“I love to pancake a guy, and then pick myself up by pushing against his body while he’s down,’’ said Dobbs, smiling. “I like playing tackle because it’s a big dog position as opposed to playing guard on the inside. When you are playing on the outside you can get (some guys) with power and speed. Most of the best players are playing on the outside.’’
Because of the injury, he hasn’t lifted weights to his full potential over the last couple of seasons. Who opponents will see take the field for the first time in the fall is a fully healthy Dobbs, considered the top player in the state based off of the 247sports.com composite. .
“Nobody knew,’’ said Dobbs. “They put heat on my shoulder, then my therapist stretches it out, then I do two ropes and pull up. I do shrugs. I’ll do some curls. I have a fake medicine ball that I roll up and stretch my shoulder.
“Would things be different if I had done it earlier? Possibly.’’
Think of the possibilities.
Dobbs has 30 scholarship offers, according to 247.com. Right now, he doesn’t plan to make any official visits until December. While both Michigan and Michigan State may be in the picture, neither might be a front-runner. The focus is getting his shoulder healthy for the season and winning a state title after losing to Canton in the playoffs last year for the team’s only loss.