Well this seems like news. From BuckeyeGrove.com (Ohio State's Rivals's site):
The 2009 season is not even here yet but the Buckeyes took a hit on the defensive line on Friday night when lineman Willie Mobley announced that he would be transferring out of the program and become a UCLA Bruin.
The Eden Prairie (Minn.) product was entering his second season in Columbus after sitting out last year with a redshirt and overcoming an injury that kept him slowed most of the way.
Mobley confirmed to BuckeyeGrove.com via phone on Friday night that he was in fact leaving but had some words that he wanted to pass on to Buckeye fans.
"I want to thank the whole Buckeye family for supporting me through my injury and everything," Mobley said. "I have learned so much from coach Tressel and the rest of the coaches and my teammates." [...]
The 6-foot-3, 265-pounder was recruited by UCLA before committing to Ohio State but a coaching change in Los Angeles (Calif.) took the Bruins out of the running at the time. Mobley will now be reunited with his family, who have recently moved to the Los Angeles area.
Haven't seen this story pop up in the local rags yet. Although it has already been noted in ESPN's Big-10 blog. If this transfer story holds up, seems like it will be a significant coup for CRN and his coaching staff.We need bodies at DL and Mobley is more than just a body. He was a 4 star recruit (according to both Scout and Rivals) coming out of high school. Here are some of his highlights from his high school career:
Mobley is a versatile defensive lineman. He could probably line up anywhere along the defensive line and give you production. Where he best fits will depend on where he goes and what scheme that program runs. He has a solid get-off, but once he gets moving he has good quickness. He is able to create some penetration off the snap of the ball and be disruptive in the backfield. He can come off the ball low, get under a blocker's pads, and push him back into the backfield. He uses his hands well to take on a blocker and help him shed. He can be tough at the point of attack and displays the ability to be able to hold his ground. He displays a good closing burst to the quarterback when he is rushing. He has a good motor and is a solid tackler. He does need to watch his pad level as he can get high at times off the ball. He does display good body control to be able to turn his hips and get skinny to work past a block. His ability to use his hands and get turned and also to get push and collapse the pocket makes him a good pass rusher. He could be a disruptive player at the nose. If he could add some bulk could play defensive tackle. He may enter college as a defensive end, but eventually we feel he will be playing most of his time on the interior of the defensive line. Overall, Mobley is a good prospect who could be a disruptive defender at the college level.
Oh BTW he had something like 25 scholarship offers coming out of high school.
Mobley would become the 8th committment for incoming class of 2010, which already features 3 good DLs including JC transfer Marquis Jackson, who has now been upgraded to a 4 star recruit. And oh BTW Marquis is redshirting this season at his JC, so that when he comes into Westwood he will be eligible to play for three years.
Great to see how CRN and his staff are thinking creatively (within the rules) to optimize the talent level at UCLA. We haven't seen this kind of intensity on the recruiting front in years in Westwood. Good times.
Going back to Mobley, welcome to Westood Willie. Oh and thanks Ohio State. Good luck to you guys, especially in that second weekend of 2009 football season.
Mobley, who left Ohio State on Friday, is filling out paperwork to enroll at UCLA and said he hopes to be at practice Monday.
He will strengthen an area of concern for UCLA coaches. The Bruins are thin at defensive tackle and could lose both starters after this season. Jerzy Siewierski is a senior and Brian Price, a junior, is could jump to the NFL early.
The fit is equally perfect for Mobley, who is 6 feet 3 and 265 pounds.
"I'm lucky, because not many schools are on the quarter system," Mobley said in a telephone interview. "Ohio State and UCLA both are on that system, otherwise I would have to sit out one year and one month. That would have been hard."
Mobley can play next season and will have three years of eligibility.
Uhm WOW! Talk about Neuheisel and staff pulling off a huge coup. This feels a little bit like the Presley news from last December. Out of nowhere. Now with Mobley UCLA has arguabley pulled off three blockbuster transfers - Smith (Colorado) and Fauria (Notre Dame) being the other two - in just one off-season. Just wow. GO BRUINS