November 19, 2016 - Atlanta, Ga: Georgia State Panthers offensive lineman Gabe Mobley (72) prepares to hike the ball against Georgia Southern at the Georgia Dome Saturday November 19, 2016, in Atlanta, Ga. PHOTO / JASON GETZ
Photo: Jason Getz
Photo: Jason Getz

Georgia State lineman balancing law school, athlete’s schedule

Georgia State offensive lineman Gabe Mobley had an incredible junior season in 2017, winning the Cure Bowl and finishing his first semester of law school. 

On top of winning the first bowl game in school history, Mobley began his first year in Georgia State’s top-100 law school, according to U.S. News. During the Panthers’ historic run in 2017, Mobley’s schedule consisted of football in the mornings, law school in the afternoon, and studying in between classes. 

“We’d be up here (practice facility) from 6 a.m. until lunch,” Mobley said. “In the afternoons, I’d be over in the law school from 1 p.m. until 8:45 p.m. at night.”

Before arriving at Georgia State in 2014, Mobley started college courses as part of a dual-enrollment program in high school. With the help of the dual-enrollment program, Mobley was able to complete his undergraduate degree in history in three years without taking heavier course loads. 

“I came in with 24 (credit) hours when I started,” Mobley said. “I didn’t take anything super crazy or anything while I was in undergrad. I came in with those 24 hours, and we would always take summer classes, too.”

Panthers coach Shawn Elliott noticed Mobley’s brains and leadership quickly when he arrived at Georgia State in December 2016 before Mobley’s final semester in undergrad, when he made the Dean’s List for the third time. 

“He was one of the most dependable guys that we had from a physical standpoint and a mental standpoint,” Elliott said. “We knew he could basically set our formations, set our protections, and make all of our calls in our run game. So it was very quickly that all of our other players realized that this is the guy that knows what he is doing.” 

Nicknamed “Matlock,” after the fictional TV character and criminal defense lawyer Ben Matlock, Mobley brings more than just his 6-foot-2, 280 pound build to the Panthers’ offensive line. According to Elliott, Mobley brings a calm presence to meetings and games. 

“Some things come easier to others of course,” Elliott said. “And when you see him in his academics or in our meeting room, he’s just got that calm sense of, “I know what’s going on, I get this,” and the good Lord blessed him with a great mind. He uses it every single day. I don’t ever see him stress.”

Stress, between law school, studying, and football, is something Mobley learned how to handle, according to the offensive lineman. Mobley said that even finding time to eat was tough during his first semester balancing the schedule of a law student and an athlete. 

“The main thing is to find time to do stuff that makes you happy on the side, too,” Mobley said. “You can’t just let the law school and the football pile up together and stress you out, because if you do then you’re just going to crash.”

The Panthers host Kennesaw State on Aug. 30, to kick off the 2018 season. Starting from Game 1, Mobley has goals for his senior season, including his hopes to reach the Sun Belt Conference Championship game in its first year and to make all A’s in his second year of law school. 

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