New quarterback settles in

Second-year pivot Nate Hobbs finds his footing in starter’s role

Hobbs (#5) and reciever Doug Corby (#23) are looking to be one of the OUA’s top aerial threats this season.
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When Nate Hobbs was first recruited for the Queen’s football team, he was told he would be a critical player from the get-go. Now a second-year student, the Mississauga native is settling into his role as the Gaels’ starting quarterback this season.

“They told me coming in that if I was who they thought I was, that I would’ve backed up [former starting quarterback Billy McPhee] my first year,” he said.

McPhee had a five-year career at Queen’s and was a starter for each of his last three seasons with the team. “It turns out that in camp I did enough to earn that #2 spot. I learned a lot from Bill and it was a pretty good experience overall.”

In what was one of the most disappointing seasons in recent Gaels football history, Queen’s finished with a 3-5 record in the 2014 season.

This season, Hobbs has the Gaels off to a 1-1 start against a pair of opponents from Ottawa, with a 31-24 home victory against Carleton followed by a 41-17 loss on the road against Ottawa the next week.  

Though Hobbs will definitely be one of the key pieces of the Gaels offence throughout this season, he pointed to his offensive linemen and running back Jesse Andrews as leaders in the attacking unit.

Hobbs recognized that while there are other options for offence, some key moments will be decided by his contributions. 

“I have to be able to make big plays for the team too,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence in myself.”

Two of Hobbs’ three touchdown passes from this season have proved the Gaels’ Doug Corby to be a top receiver.

After McPhee’s departure at the end of last season, Hobbs was informed by head coach Pat Sheahan that he was going to be the team’s starting quarterback moving forward. 

To prepare for the upcoming year, Hobbs  stayed in Kingston over the summer to be closer with the training staff and facilities rather than returning home for the break. 

Hobbs admits there were times in the summer where he had to reflect on his current position.

“There were a lot of moments when I was like, ‘Oh wow, I’m here now.’ To be the quarterback at Queen’s with such a great tradition, I’m definitely proud.”  However, he says the novelty has worn off and he has fully accepted his role as the starter. 

Hobbs said a highlight of his first year was watching the homecoming game against York, including McPhee’s first touchdown pass of the game to Queen’s receiver Alex Carroll less than two minutes into the game and seeing the crowd’s reaction.

Though Hobbs’ first win as quarterback was at home, it was during the end of summer with few students at the game. The Gaels game against Waterloo this Saturday will be his first opportunity to showcase himself in frontof the team’s faithful fanbase. 

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. While other athletes have diverse goals, there’s only one thing Hobbs hopes to accomplish this year. 

“Win games,” he said. “I like winning, Winning’s fun. I think everyone here likes winning. We didn’t do enough of that last year.” 

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