2010's New Stars - Kentucky WR Randall Cobb
Kentucky WR Randall Cobb
Kentucky WR Randall Cobb
Posted Mar 24, 2010

Who are the top players you need to know about going into 2010? Richard Cirminiello profiles Kentucky WR Randall Cobb.

Spring Preview 2010

The Players You Need To Know

Randall Cobb, WR Kentucky

By Richard Cirminiello 

12 New Superstars You Must Know About
- Boston College LB Luke Kuechly
- Connecticut RB Jordan Todman
- Iowa S Tyler Sash
- Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas
- Houston WR James Cleveland
- Navy QB Ricky Dobbs
- Temple RB Bernard Pierce
- TCU LB Tank Carder
- California RB Shane Vereen
- North Texas RB Lance Dunbar
- Nevada DE Dontay Moch 

Who is Randall Cobb? … Kentucky was one of the only schools willing to give Cobb a shot to play quarterback. Now, it's giving him an opportunity to be a star at a multitude of different positions.

Cobb wanted desperately to be under center at this level, much the way he was at Alcoa (Tenn.) High School as a prep sensation. The ‘Cats gave him a long look as a true freshman in 2008 and he made some things happen, but 5-11 athletes don't remain at quarterback very long in the SEC. By last spring, he began realizing that making an impact on the program would require a relocation. The staff was happy to comply, moving the sophomore to wide receiver and piecing together an offense that would eventually include the "WildCobb" formation. Oh, Cobb would get his chance to be behind center again in Lexington, but throwing the ball was no longer a primary consideration.

Cobb is like nothing they've ever seen at Kentucky, a do-it-all type, with the ability to completely take a game over, especially in the latter stages. He is, however, not entirely unique, conjuring up images of former Wildcat opponents who have passed through the Commonwealth in recent years. Across the border in Indiana, folks compare him to Antwaan Randle-El for his playmaking ability and overall athleticism. Down in Georgia, they remember Hines Ward, who arrived as a heralded quarterback, yet wound up doing a little bit of everything for the Bulldogs. Cobb also shares Ward's toughness and grit, which him overcome that rather modest frame.

Though not the biggest nor the fastest wide receiver in Kentucky, let alone the SEC, Cobb has found a formula for success that's only going to get better over the next two seasons. It hasn't exactly been the blueprint he expected when he crossed the border from Tennessee two years ago, but don't expect anyone, particularly Cobb, to quibble with the early results or the expectations for the future.

Randall Cobb's best game so far was … last Oct. 17 at Auburn. It wasn't the final boxscore as much as the final result that made this game so special for Cobb. Yeah, he rushed for 109 yards on a dozen carries and caught a pass for a dozen yards, but it was the game-winning touchdown scamper with 3:17 left that made the trip to the Plains so memorable. It was Kentucky's first win over the Tigers since 1966 and a turning point in the quest to return to the postseason.

Why should you care about Randall Cobb? … Cobb is one of the most exciting all-purpose players in America and the face of a Kentucky program that's surprisingly been to four consecutive bowl games. Named to the All-SEC first team for his myriad abilities, he's made quite an evolution in his first season moving out from behind center. With a full year of experience at wide receiver and a staff looking for even more ways to employ his athleticism, he'd be a fringe Heisman contender if the ‘Cats had some gravitas on the national stage.

Positives about Randall Cobb … He's a playmaker in every sense of the word. One of the most versatile athletes in the SEC, he can beat you as a receiver, a runner taking direct snaps, a passer, and as a return specialist. More than just instant offense for Kentucky, he'll fight for extra yards after the catch and is perpetually clutch. Cobb has had a knack in his first two seasons for saving his best moments when the game is hanging in the balance in the final quarter.

Negatives about Randall Cobb … Just a year removed from being the Wildcats' starting quarterback, Cobb is still a little rough around the edges as a receiver. In the second half of his college career, he's hoping to reduce the missed assignments, improve his route-running, and completely eliminate the drops. He'd also like to get better as a downfield blocker. At only 5-11 and 190 pounds, he's been banged up pretty good over the last two seasons, raising concerns about durability.

A cool thing about Randall Cobb you probably didn't know … Prior to last year's Music City Bowl with Clemson, Cobb shaved his head in a show of support for 13-year old Bradley Wilson, a local kid battling leukemia. He learned of Wilson's situation through fellow receiver Ed Berry, and quickly asked to get involved with the teen and his family. The act was consistent with the caring, selfless demeanor he's displayed throughout his life.

Career Statistics
2008: 52-of-99 for 542 yards, two touchdowns, and five interceptions; 79 carries for 316 yards and seven touchdowns; 21 catches for 197 yards and two touchdowns
2009: 5-of-13 for 89 yards; 94 carries for 573 yards and 10 touchdowns; 39 catches for 447 yards and four touchdowns; 653 return yards and a touchdown