Dy'Shawn Mobley has spent the last four years in the state of Kentucky and he won't be far away this spring and summer as he competes for a spot on the Bengals' 2016 roster. Mobley spent two years at University of Kentucky playing in all 12 games during his freshman year in 2012 as a backup. He rushed 41 times, recording 184 yards, a 4.5 yard per carry average. In 2013, he improved to 43 attempts yielding 300 yards, 1 touchdown and a 7.0 yard per carry average.
His most impressive game at Kentucky came against Georgia, when he had a 69-yard touchdown run. Following his sophomore season, Mobley made a surprising decision to transfer to Eastern Kentucky University. But for Mobley, a trusting relationship with his coach was important and he didn't feel he had that at UK. A Kentucky.com article from July 2014 explains:
To Mobley's chagrin, he did not get many chances to show what he could do as a back in the first 10 games under new Kentucky coach Mark Stoops and his staff, either. After injuries and suspensions cleared the Wildcats running back depth chart, Mobley carried the ball 27 times against Georgia and Tennessee combined. He had only 16 carries before those two games.
Mobley said Thursday morning he became alienated from UK running backs coach Chad Scott.
"He would promise me he would put me in the game, then he never put me in the game," Mobley said. "I was like, 'So I can't trust him.' No trust there, there's nothing there, really."
Once he transferred to EKU, his 2014 season was one to remember. On 258 rushing attempts he churned out 1,491 yards (5.8 ypc) and 20 rushing touchdowns. He added 309 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown.
"The change from Kentucky to EKU was great," Mobley said. "The players and coaching staff took me in at EKU and just playing for those guys, the coaches depended on me and it made me a better player and better man."
An offseason hamstring injury and mid-season illness limited Mobley to 9 games in 2015. During those games he rushed 110 times for 347 yards, 2 touchdowns and a career-low 3.2 yards per carry. He also had two two receiving touchdowns and 170 receiving yards.
The Bengals' running back roster looks hard to crack with Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard, Rex Burkhead and Cedric Peerman all essentially roster-locks, but Mobley will look to get the attention of the Bengals coaches this spring and summer.
"My goals are really just to do whatever it takes to get on the field and help the team win," Mobley said. " I want to be dependable, be someone the coaches can depend on. I'm a hard worked and I'm going to do whatever it takes to help the team win."
Mobley seems to be someone who likes to earn his coaches' -- and teammates' -- trust and be depended on equally. Prior to the Draft, Mobley formed a relationship with Bengals running backs coach, Kyle Caskey and knew it was possible the Bengals could be interested in him when Draft weekend rolled around. Now, it's time for him to make an impression on the coaches.
"I feel like I opened up a couple eyes and really just stood out," Mobley said of rookie mini-camp last week. "From here on out having the coaches depend on you will be important. It was great being around a bunch of great athletes and competing."
Mobley hasn't gotten a chance to try any Cincinnati restaurants, he's been eating at the stadium for most of his meals (and says they cook the players great choices of food), but one thing he is excited to do in Cincinnati is work with Hill and Bernard.
"I'm actually sitting here watching tape on them right now. They're great running backs and I can't wait to get to practice with those guys and see how they carry themselves," Mobley said. "I know they've been here for a while and I want to be in their shoes one day and be a running back for the Bengals. Seeing how they carry the ball, it's a great opportunity to watch those guys and see how they do things."