The Coventry Jets have pulled off a major coup in the signing of highly rated wide receiver Chris Hobbs from former Premier Division rivals the Farnham Knights. Hobbs featured for the Knights last season as they finally broke their duck against the Jets at the sixth attempt. Unfortunately for Hobbs, that wasn’t the only thing broken that day. After recovering a fumbled interception return one of Hobbs’ team-mates landed on him and shattered his wrist in seven places, ending a promising breakout season.
Although still only 23 Hobbs brings a great deal of experience to a young Jets receiving core. As a 16 year old he joined the Farnham Knights youth team and helped take them to the Britbowl finals. Hobbs can also claim to be one of very few players that has played for both Coventry and Warwick universities, starting his career as a wide receiver with the Wolves. Working under Jets Hall of Famer Graham Huber he made the switch to running back for his second season, winning Offensive MVP honours and being selected to the University All-Stars team.
After helping found the Coventry University Jets Hobbs filled the role of President in their debut season. If his work off the field wasn’t already enough to help him find legendary status his contribution on it was. On the very first play of their first ever game, against City rivals and former team the Warwick Wolves, Hobbs returned the opening kick off 88 yards for his sides first ever touchdown. In 2011 he was the team’s top scorer, Offenisve MVP and Player’s Player of the Year.
“Obviously coming from Coventry University, and being around the coaches and team, I always had a lot of time for the Jets. It feels very weird training with another senior team, I’ve been a Knight ever since I started football but with their unfortunate withdrawal for the season, I was left without a side.” responded Hobbs when asked about his transfer from Farnham, continuing “The Jets seemed a natural choice, given my history with the City. I received some very welcoming messages from Adam Etheridge (Club Secretary) and (Head Coach) Paul Rickhuss inviting me to join the Jets for the year. Coach Rickhuss is fully aware of me as a player and has welcomed me to the team with open arms.”
Coventry will compete outside the topflight for the first time since 2006 after a difficult year saw them relegated, but Hobbs is looking forward to the challenge “With the big names off the roster and an influx of university and young players it’s good to see the Jets have found their feet again. I’m excited to help take the team back to the premier league.” As well as experience in the British leagues, the Aerospace Systems Engineering graduate, has played a full season for French outfit Les Ours de Toulouse. Starting as wide receiver and then running back, Hobbs carried his team to an undefeated regular season before a broken arm derailed his, and their, playoff push in the semi-final.
Originally from Frome, Somerset, Hobbs is best known to his teammates as “Teflon” a nickname that he earned in his first training session seven years ago. “I was given the name as I couldn’t catch even one ball when I started, I dropped everything, the only thing that stuck was the nickname. I’ve been called Teflon ever since but I’ve grown to embrace it.” Hobbs soon got to grips with the game though and the versatile athlete was a starter at three positions for the Knights during 2011.
Before suffering his season ending injury Hobbs had compiled eight receptions for 78 yards and five kick returns for 120 yards as well as contributing tackles on special teams. “Right now I’m taking it a season at a time when it comes to my career” said Hobbs “I’ve spent several months rehabbing so I’m very excited about this season with the Jets. I want to help make the Jets the best they can be and hopefully help win Division 1. I think the team has the right players, the right coaching staff and the will to win. After a disappointing season in 2011 we have a point to prove, and I’ll be proud to be a part of it.”
“We’ve known about Chris for the past five years” said Coach Rickhuss, “we’ve wanted him to be a part of this club for that time but knew he was loyal to the Knights. It’s sad to hear that they’re not competing this season but they’ll be back bigger and stronger in 2013 I’m sure. In the meantime we’ll benefit from Teflon’s experience and athleticism. His speed gives us another deep threat and compliments an already very strong receiving core.”
Currently living in Bristol where he works as a Stress Engineer for Airbus, Hobbs made the two hour trip to train with the Jets for the first time last week “I had my first training session with my new teammates recently and it was great. We got some solid work done, I spent time at running back and wide receiver and even scored a couple of touchdowns in the running drills”, Coach Rickhuss will be hoping they are the first of many. If you’d like to join Hobbs and the Jets visit their new website www.covjets.com.