Hobbs, Jessup Sign with Broncos
Nov. 11, 2015
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State men's basketball continued its recent trend of strong recruiting classes Wednesday, when head coach Leon Rice announced prep standouts Alex Hobbs and Justinian Jessup signed National Letters of Intent to join the Broncos. Hobbs is a 6-foot-4 guard from LaPorte, Texas, and Jessup is a 6-foot-5 guard from Longmont, Colo.
"These are two high-character young men who happen to be great basketball players," said Rice. "Alex and Justinian are great fits for Boise State and we are really excited for their futures here. They are such hard workers that we just know, as good as they are right now, they're going to continue to improve in college once we get them in our system."
Alex Hobbs | 6-4 | 180 | La Porte, Texas (La Porte HS)
Hobbs averaged 27.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game as a junior, guiding La Porte to a state playoff appearance. A four-year varsity starter at one of the highest levels of Texas high school basketball, Hobbs has already scored 1,856 points in his career and is expected to become the school's all-time points leader early this season.
"He is an elite scorer," said Rice. "Alex has good size, a great feel for the game and can score in a variety of ways. We will graduate some great offensive weapons this year and he will help us fill that void. He's also a tremendous kid that we are so excited to coach."
Starting as a freshman, Hobbs was named District 21-5A Newcomer of the Year in 2012-13. He was also a second-team all-district selection that season. As a sophomore Hobbs earned first-team all-district honor.
Last season, realignment moved La Porte to the 6A classification. Hobbs was named the District 21-6A Offensive MVP and was voted 6A All-Region III by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
"He's special," said La Porte High School head coach Barry Gibson. "Words like `special' and `gifted' are generally overused, but you'll know right when you meet Alex. Boise is going to love him. He's a tremendous talent and is a really good person. His teammates love him and he's one of the most driven players I've ever been around. He loves the grind and the process of getting better."
Hobbs held scholarship offers from more than a dozen schools and narrowed his list to eight before choosing Boise State. His other finalists were Baylor, Butler, Houston, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, San Diego State and Wake Forest.
"There will not be a player in Texas 6A basketball this season that's more skilled than Alex Hobbs and that's because of all the work he has put in," said Gibson.
On the club circuit, Hobbs plays with Texas PRO.
Justinian Jessup | 6-5 | 185 | Longmont, Colo. (Longmont HS)
Jessup was named the 2014-15 Colorado 4A State Player of the Year after leading Longmont to the state championship game. He averaged 17 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.2 steals per game as he paced the Trojans in every statistical category on their way to a 27-1 record. Jessup shot 61 percent from inside the arc and 42 percent from three-point range as a junior.
"Justinian is a versatile guard who can play all over the floor," said Rice. "Passing, scoring, shooting; he can do it all at a high level and it allows him to play multiple positions. That flexibility is going to be a great fit with the way we play."
The only blip on last year's record was an overtime loss in the state title game. After coming back from an 18-point, first-half deficit Jessup led a furious rally that fell just short in the extra session. One of four returning starters, he is motivated to finish on top as a senior.
"He's a winner," said Rice. "He comes from successful high school and AAU programs and winning is his top priority."
Prep Hoops Colorado rates Jessup as the No. 2 prospect in the state of Colorado. Jessup scored nine points in a Colorado high school all-star game in April. He turned down scholarship offers from Colorado, Davidson and Northern Iowa to become a Bronco.
On the AAU circuit, Jessup plays for the Colorado Titans and head coach Rick Jimenez. Jessup was the leading scorer for the Titans last season and was near the top in nearly every statistical category.
"Justinian brings a little bit of everything," said Jimenez. "Being a lefty, he has some craft to his game. He can shoot it, drive it, pass it, post up. He is going to really excel in Boise State's creative and innovative offensive schemes."
The Titans played a national schedule, which Jimenez said brought out the best in Jessup.
"He doesn't show any emotion but just has this killer instinct about him," Jimenez said. "When we play against the big-city teams who have deals with shoe companies, that's when Justinian is at his best. He knows he's going to the next level and he still comes in the gym and works harder than anybody else. He's always asking himself `what's my next challenge?'"
Jessup's family lived in Boise while he was in fourth and fifth grade. While in the City of Trees, Jessup played club ball for Bronco great Roberto Bergersen.
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