MOULTRIE -- Mike Mobley led the Colquitt County High School football team in tackles the last two seasons despite a variety of injuries that might have caused a less-determined player to rest his ailing body on the sideline.
The All-Region and All-State linebacker will get a chance to see how well he can perform with a rested body when he joins the Georgia Southern University program next season.
Mobley signed a letter-of-intent with the Mike Sewak-coached Eagles on Wednesday. He visited the campus last weekend.
"I'm glad I signed with them," Mobleysaid. "I like the campus. It reminds me a lot of here."
Mobley is one of 27 members of the Georgia Southern recruiting class.
The Eagles finished 9-3 last season and tied Furman for the school's eighth Southern Conference championship. Southern was eliminated in the first round of the Division I-AA playoffs by New Hampshire, losing 27-23.
Mobley became a starter early in his sophomore season and was named to the All-Region 1-AAAAA team the last two seasons, selected to the first team last fall. He also received honorable mention on the Class AAAAA All-State team.
During his career, Bubba and Cathy's middle son was credited with 195 tackles, recovered two fumbles an caused two fumbles. He also was the Packers punter the last two seasons. His older brother Jake, who now plays baseball as a junior at Georgia Southwestern, also was a Packers linebacker.
Former Packers head coach Mike Singletary said the Eagles are getting one of the toughest players he has coached.
"He played more physically with more bumps and ailments that any player I've ever coached," Singletary said. "He gave us everything he had."
Singletary said he remembers talking to Valdosta coach Rick Darlington, who, after watching video of the Colquitt County-Worth County game, said his team would not be able to run the lead against the Packers.
"Mike just blew up the Worth fullback," Singletary said.
Mobley played with abandon despite a number of injuries over the last four seasons, beginning with a pulled hamstring suffered when running an interception back as a ninth-grader.
"Then there was the shoulder, his hand, his knee," Singletary said. "I'd love to have seen him play 100-percent, completely healthy."
Singletary said he considered using Mobley at tight end on offense, but did not think his valuable linebacker could withstand the additional pounding.
"He just couldn't afford to take any more licks," Singletary said.
Linebackers coach Darius Dawson, who was an outstanding four-year starter at linebacker for Georgia Southern in the early 1990s, was especially pleased to see Mobley head to his alma mater.
Dawson said he thinks Mobley can contribute to the Georgia Southern program and a red-shirt year might help him develop.
"He can carry some more weight," he said of the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder. "If he gets red-shirted and can come back rested, he'll be able to help them."
And what Singletary especially appreciated was how much Mobley learned about playing linebacker his senior season.
"It was fun to coach a young man who really wants to understand the game," Singletary said.
"He's one of those kids who make it enjoyable to coach football."