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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

“Dirty Routes”: The Legend of Joe Dirt

Meg Boles
Texas State junior wide receiver Joey Hobert (10) celebrates victory over Nevada, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, Bobcat Stadium.

Texas State junior wide receiver Joey Hobert has made quite a name for himself since transferring to Texas State this offseason. His impression has led many of his teammates to give him the nickname ‘Joe Dirt,’ from the movie starring David Spade.

Despite the title, Hobert isn’t anything like Joe Dirt. Hobert doesn’t have a mullet, he doesn’t speak with a Southern accent and he grew up in California.

Texas State senior safety Shawn Holton, the teammate who started the nickname, said the reasons behind it are about what Hobert does on the field.

“It started from fall camp. Joey was [always] making dirty plays, going over the top, running dirty routes, so it just fit him,” Holton said. “That’s just the type of person he is; he is really goofy and has that swagger about him.”

The name debuted on Texas State football’s Twitter account and has since gained over 150,000 impressions. Even though Hobert embraced the name, he didn’t quite know the origin of it at first.

“I love the name. I think it’s awesome. I thought it was more of a joke on my last name at first,” Hobert said. “I thought maybe they thought my last name was just ‘Ho-dirt’. I thought it was pretty clever that they came up with the name because of the dirty catches.”

One of those “dirty” catches came in the first game of the season in a 42-31 upset victory over Baylor where Hobert brought down a 34-yard one-handed sideline catch.

“I knew I was close to the out-of-bounds, and I was thinking, ‘I’m going to have to jump for this,’” Hobert said. “So, I jumped, and I realized ‘I’m not making this catch with two hands.’ I reached out with my right arm, and once I was able to get my hand on it, I knew I was catching that thing.”

The play earned the top spot in ‘ESPN Top Ten’  later that night. For Hobert, this was not only a dream come true, but the catch in Waco also grew his popularity immediately.

“As a kid, I watched those types of plays being made and said, ‘I want to do that.’ When [I was on ESPN], it was really surreal, like a dream,’ Hobert said. ‘My Instagram had 500 followers, and all of a sudden, I am at 1,500 followers just from that. It has been blowing up ever since.”

Hobert believes his ability to make such improbable catches stems from his childhood growing up as a wide receiver and playing catch with his dad in his living room in San Juan Capistrano, California.

“It definitely helped as a kid when my dad would be lying down on the couch, and I would make him play catch with me,” Hobert said. “We had a game where he would clap, and I would start running. When he threw the ball, I would jump and hit the couch. I even ended up putting some holes in the walls.”

Before the nicknames and one-handed catches, Hobert’s journey to Texas State was long, spanning multiple states and conferences. However, the one constant in his career has been his current Texas State wide receiver coach, Craig Stuzmann.

Stutzman has recruited Hobert to Washington State, Utah Tech and Texas State. Regardless of what jersey Hobert has worn, he said he could always count on Stutzman.

“No matter where we were, he had my back. He always pushed me to be my best self on and off the field, and he always picked me up if I was down,” Hobert said. “Him being adamant on getting me to Texas State was definitely a boost to my confidence.”

When Stutzmann accepted the job at Texas State, one of his first calls was to Hobert after finding out he had entered the transfer portal. His decision to recruit Hobert again was a no-brainer, he said.

“Off the field, he is a very fun-loving, goofy guy who doesn’t take himself seriously,” Stutzmann said. “On the field, he’s an ultra-competitive person who leads by example. You can’t have enough of those types of guys, and I am excited he is with us.”

Hobert said now that he’s finally at Texas State, he can finish his football career where he has wanted to all along.

“Since I was a little kid, I would talk to my mom and dad and say, ‘Can we go to Texas? Can we live in Texas?’” Hobert said. “They always said maybe, but my mom would never let it happen. I love it here, and I could easily see myself being here for the rest of my life.”

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