The opportunity to play for a college football team that throws the ball a lot, especially one that will need to replace its top three pass catchers in 2022, was too much for a former Maryland wide receiver to pass up.
Brian Cobbs, who caught 25 passes for 341 yards and a touchdown this past season for the Terrapins, pledged his commitment to Utah State last Saturday on Twitter. Cobbs is the second wideout from a Power 5 conference to commit to the Aggies this month, joining former Alabama athlete Xavier Williams.
Cobbs will come to USU as a graduate transfer and with just one year of eligibility remaining. Cobbs told the Herald Journal he is currently “working through the application process ... but I do intend to be (at USU) for spring camp.”
“Since USU lost their top three wideouts, I felt that this was the perfect situation for me and my goals, and I believe my contributions can allow for another great season for USU football, “ Cobbs said when asked why he ultimately choose USU.
The three wideouts Cobbs is referring to are Deven Thompkins, Derek Wright and Brandon Bowling, who teamed up for a whopping 31 TDs and 3,329 yards on 206 receptions this past fall. Thompkins finished with 1,706 of those receiving yards, marking the fourth straight year Kyle Cefalo has coached a 1,000-yard receiver. Cefalo just finished his first season at USU’s wide receiver coach after filling that same role at Arkansas State from 2017-20.
“I’m extremely happy for the opportunity to be coached by coach Cefalo,” Cobbs said. “I know and trust that he is going to get me where I need to be in my development and he is going to have me ready to make big time plays every single week in order to help the team win. This offense is exciting and can gash the defense from anywhere on the field, so I can’t wait to jump right in and get this thing rolling.”
Cobbs is also looking forward to competing on a team with two very experienced quarterbacks in returning starter Logan Bonner and Wyoming transfer Levi Williams, plus another, Cooper Legas, who shined in USU’s 24-13 victory over Oregon State in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl.
“It’s very encouraging knowing that you have that veteran leadership and experience in the QB room because it is a tough job to run an offense and be successful at it, so it is definitely a great situation for our offense to have these (experienced) guys,” said Cobbs, who played a little bit of quarterback in high school.
The native of Alexandria, Virginia, was also considering spending his final season at Group of 5 programs Coastal Carolina and Old Dominion, plus FCS powerhouse James Madison, before selecting USU. Cobbs’ older brother Michael played for James Madison from 2015-19.
In Cobbs, the Aggies will be getting a bigger target, one similar in size to USC graduate transfer Jalen Greene, who contributed with 689 yards and six TDs on 44 receptions during his lone season (2018) in Logan. Cobbs finished with 880 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 59 receptions during his four seasons at Maryland. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder was in the starting lineup at least twice in each of those seasons.
Cobbs came on strong at the end of the 2021 campaign as he hauled in at least four receptions in each of Maryland’s final three games, including four for 62 yards in the Terrapins’ convincing 54-10 victory over Virginia Tech in the Pinstripe Bowl. Cobbs came through with a 38-yard scoring catch and finished with a career-best 86 yards receiving in Maryland’s 40-16 triumph over Rutgers in its regular season finale — — a game the Terrapins needed to win in order to become bowl eligible.
Cobbs majored in communications at Maryland and is “still looking for something at USU that will sharpen my skills in some of the same areas.” Although Cobbs is still a bit undecided on his course of study, he knows exactly what he wants to accomplish on the field during his final academic year.
“Win another MW championship and put myself in position to be drafted the following year for the NFL,” said Cobbs, who accounted for an impressive 31 touchdowns (11 passing, 11 rushing, nine receiving) during his senior season at Hayfield High. “I think the other accolades will take care of themselves if we just go out and produce at a high level every week.”