Pike County senior Markelis Hobdy signs with Miles College

Published 3:08 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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Pike County senior linebacker Markelis Hobdy was one of dozens of athletes that were affected by the closing of Birmingham Southern College earlier this spring, and on Wednesday he made his dream of playing college football come true by signing with Miles College.

Hobdy originally signed with Birmingham Southern in March but a week later the school announced that it was closing and Hobdy was once again looking for a place to play college football, which he said was one of his biggest dreams.

“The journey was chaotic and it was very hard but God has a purpose for all of us and I feel like God was telling me there is a better place for me and I feel like Miles is that place,” Hobdy said.

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Hobdy was an All-Messenger linebacker for the Bulldogs. As a junior, he led PCHS with 104 tackles, 19 tackles-for-loss and three interceptions. Despite batting injuries as a senior, Hobdy still tallied 67 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss and three sacks in eight games.

Pike County football coach Mark Hurt introduced Hobdy to the coaching staff at Miles College and it eventually became home for the senior.

“The atmosphere up there was great,” he said. “Being around the coaches was great. Hopefully I can get up there and make some plays and make an impact for the team. I’m really blessed for this opportunity.”

Markelis Hobdy pressures the quarterback. (Photo by Kennedy Roy)

Miles College boasts a number of former NFL stars, including the likes of Sam Shade and Antonio Langham, on its coaching staff. Shade is currently the head coach at Miles. He played almost a decade in the NFL for the Washington Redskins.

“Coach Shade is my guy. My first time meeting him, it was a really good experience,” said Hobdy. “He gave me some words of encouragement, especially with everything I was dealing with as far as the Birmingham Southern situation goes. He gave me the opportunity to come play for his team and I have to thank him for that.”

Hobdy was most impressed with the man that will be his position coach, Ronald McKinnon.

“I talked to him a couple of times and he gave me a lot of words of encouragement and told me where I could fit in and my role playing there,” Hobdy said of McKinnon. “(Pike County) defensive line coach Cornelius Griffin told me a little bit about him and how he was a great player and the type of guy he was. Once I met him, I saw that everything Coach Griffin said about him was true. He’s a great guy and I can’t wait to play under him.”

McKinnon is an Elba native that became one of the most decorated Division II linebackers ever, going on to play nearly a decade in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints. Hobdy said all of the NFL experience on the Miles coaching staff was another thing that appealed to him.

“With them having all the NFL experience they know what it takes to get to that next level,” he said. “It will be a great experience to play for them and learn from them and take the words they give me and apply it.”

Hobdy said that he’s excited to get on campus and get to work.

“My main goal is to graduate, get my degree,” he continued. “As far as football goes, I just want to be successful, be coachable and try to become a leader on the team.”