Kyle Dobbins’ statistics were down as a senior, but his high school coach believed his status was up.
“I think he showed himself to be one of the best football players in the state,” Timber Creek coach Rob Hinson said.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Dobbins is expected to sign with Temple on Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA’s new early-signing period.
Football players can sign national letters of intent Wednesday through Friday, or wait until Feb. 7, the traditional national signing day.
“It’s just amazing,” Dobbins said. “It’s something I’ve been dreaming about since I was in eighth grade and thought maybe it was possible.”
Dobbins was recruited by Temple as a running back after two sensational seasons as a sophomore and junior at St. Augustine Prep.
Dobbins transferred to Timber Creek before his senior season. He split time in the backfield with fellow senior Jerome Gibson in a pass-oriented offense that featured North Carolina State-bound quarterback Devin Leary, who also will sign Wednesday.
“It wasn’t frustrating,” Dobbins said. “I was willing to split time with Jerome because it was his time and it also was my time. We worked it out.”
Gibson led the Chargers, who finished 10-1, in rushing with 981 yards on 134 carries (7.3-yard average) with 10 touchdowns.
Dobbins carried the football 97 times for 845 yards (8.7-yard average) with 10 touchdowns.
“He averaged almost nine yards a carry,” Hinson said. “He adjusted phenomenally.”
Dobbins ran for 1,613 yards and 19 touchdowns as a sophomore and for 1,282 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior, both at St. Augustine Prep.
But as a senior, Dobbins played defense regularly for the first time in his high school career. He was a top defensive back for the Chargers, finishing second on the team in tackles with 57 and leading the squad in interceptions with three.
“I got down and dirty,” Dobbins said of playing defense. “That’s what the team needed and I would do anything to help the team.”
Hinson said Dobbins developed into an outstanding defensive player.
“He did everything on that side of the ball,” Hinson said. “Tackles, interceptions, tipped balls. He showed what kind of a football player he is.
“When he gets to Temple and just plays offense, he’s going to be unreal.”
Dobbins said he enjoyed playing defense but is looking forward to focusing on offense for the Owls.
“I like tackling people,” Dobbins said. “But I like avoiding tackles better.”
South Jersey high school football recruiting commitments
These football players are expected to sign national letters of intent on Wednesday:
Nihym Anderson Vineland LB 6-2 235 Maryland
Iverson Clement Rancocas Valley RB 5-11 180 Florida
Alex Desire Burlington Twp. OL 6-5 280 Towson
Shamere Collins St. Augustine DB 5-10 175 Sacred Heart
Kyle Dobbins Timber Creek RB 5-10 185 Temple
Xavier File St. Augustine WR 6-0 175 Army
Taj Harris Palmyra WR 6-2 175 Syracuse
Deion Jennings Timber Creek DB 6-0 180 Rutgers
Devin Leary Timber Creek QB 6-2 185 North Carolina State
Nah’Sir Morgan Atlantic City WR 6-3 180 Maine
Isaih Pacheco Vineland Athlete 5-10 180 Rutgers
Daevon Robinson Shawnee WR 6-4 185 Rutgers
Noah Sansalone Vineland OL 6-4 275 Bucknell
Josh Zamot Holy Spirit QB 6-0 180 Stony Brook