College coaches might be kept away from high school campuses at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped Huntsville defensive lineman Ed Bobino from gaining interest from teams at the next level.
After building a reputation as a big-game performer as a junior last season, Bobino heads into his senior year with several scholarship offers already on the table.
Back in April, Houston Baptist became the first Division I program to offer the versatile D-lineman — who Huntsville head coach Rodney Southern says “has the potential to be a 6-foot-3, 300-pound guy that could play end or inside” at the next level. McNeese, Incarnate Word, Louisiana-Monroe and North Texas have since followed suit, with the number of offers only expected to grow.
“I’ve been staying in touch as much as possible,” Bobino said. “If teams are interested, I always respond.”
Bobino was an integral part of District 10-5A Division II’s top defense last season, making his impact felt most in the Hornets’ biggest moments. He recovered a fumble for a touchdown during a regular-season game against then-No. 5 A&M Consolidated, and had a pair of sacks against a playoff team in Katy Paetow that moved up to Division I earlier this year.
The clutch plays would continue in the postseason, with Bobino blocking a field goal in the playoff opener at Marshall, before recording two sacks and several quarterback hurries the next week in a win over Crosby.
His most prolific performance of the year came during the Hornets’ third-round loss to back-to-back state runner-up Fort Bend Marshall. With multiple college scouts in attendance, Bobino proceeded to rack up six tackles for loss, while the Hornets’ held one of the state’s most electric offenses to its second-lowest point total of the season.
“A lot of people saw the game because they were recruiting us or kids from Fort Bend Marshall, but just being that active in a game like that shows that you can move and are versatile — and at the defensive line positions, when you can be versatile it just makes you that much more marketable,” Southern said.
“He’s big and strong, and has the potential to be a 6-foot-3, 300-pound guy that could play end or inside,” the coach added. “The thing most people have told me they like about him, they think he can play a tackle or a nose in a four-down scheme — and he could probably play a five-technique in a three-down scheme. Being versatile and being able to move at 300 pounds, D-linemen like that are hard to find. The last two or three games he really improved, and then obviously against Fort Bend Marshall was probably the best game he had all year.”
As he continues to evaluate his current and prospective offers, Bobino notes that a family-like atmosphere is one of the top things he’s looking for in a future school.
“The family aspect of it,” he said. “I have some family, and I want them to be able to be a part of my football life in college too.”
Bobino credits Southern and Huntsville defensive coordinator Scott Schroeder for putting him in a position to succeed, and notes that he’s been talking regularly with several former Hornets — including Louisiana-Monroe offensive lineman Dillon Brooks, North Texas linebacker Jordan Brown and Texas defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat — throughout the recruiting process.
By watching Sweat — the 2018 District 10 MVP — make an impact at Texas as a true freshman last season, Bobino has gained a source of motivation moving forward.
“It’s special,” Bobino said. “It shows you that you can never aim too high, especially for somebody from a small school like Huntsville to go somewhere like Texas. Always dream big.”