Exclusive Q&A with Kentucky’s Mr. Everything
By Ned Colegrove
May 26, 2010
Randall Cobb is listed as Wide Receiver/Quarterback on the team
roster. Ask the SEC’s defensive coordinators if there’s another guy in
the game who can do as much in crunch time as Cobb can. A converted
QB, he’s done it all in his first two seasons in Lexington, rushing for
889 yards and a whopping 17 TD’s while grabbing 60 balls for 644 yards
and 6 TD’s- he also returns punts and holds for kicks. Cobb helped
lead the Wildcats to their best rushing marks in 14 years last season
and a fourth-straight bowl game. He was named 1st Team All-SEC.
Offensive Coordinator Randy Sanders, “I’ve never asked a guy to do so
many different things as we ask of Randall- I’ve got no doubt that if
we put him on defense, he would have an interception return for a
We talked with Kentucky’s Mr. Everything about being a marked man in the nation’s toughest conference.
Clearly, you’re one of the most dynamic guys in the conference, if not
the nation. Now that teams have seen you for another season and you’ll
be on everyone’s radar, what kinds of things do you expect defenses to
do to try and stop you?
A.Well, right now we haven’t had
another proven receiver or passing game, so I think a lot of teams, if
they see the Wildcat, they’re going to start trying to stack the box.
I’ll expect some safeties to be aware of where I’m at if I’m out at
receiver. So I’m looking to get double-covered. But I don’t think it
will last long, because a lot of guys are ready to step up and take
over their roles at receiver. They’re going to open up some things for
me as well as open up things for themselves.
So have you been pretty pleased with what you’ve seen so far this
spring as far as the team trying to spread things out and have some
more guys step up and help you out a little bit?
Oh yeah. It’s hard to say how far we’ve come because we haven’t really
had competition, other than ourselves. But you can see in practice
guys are really molding into position. Chris Matthews (Sr. WR, #8),
he’s a guy that’s really going to help us out a lot this year- he’s a
big, tough receiver and he’ll go get the ball. Last year, he was still
trying to understand what we were tyring to do and understand the
playbook, but now he has it down pat and he’s ready to go this year.
You’ve done a little bit of everything in your career so far. Are you
pretty happy with where you’ve settled in to this team as far as your
role- the ratio of direct snaps and running plays versus lining up
outside and going downfield in the passing game?
Yeah, I love it. Everything about Lexington and UK football. As much
as a pounding as I’ve taken, I really have understood why you have to
have more than one guy on the team. Coming in this year with Derrick
Locke (Sr., #20) and Donald Russell (So., #23) at RB and our threats at
receiver, too- once we put all of it together, I think we’re going to
be really good.
Talk about developing your skills as a WR as far as route running, etc.
and what your goals were for improving this off season at the WR
A. Personally, the biggest thing I wanted to
work on was making sure that I’m quick in getting out of my cuts. I
noticed that I was tending to be a little slow because it’s not as
natural to me, this being my second or third year playing receiver. I
never really played it before, so there is a lot of stuff I’ve had to
I’m still trying to master it and get it all down but
it’s going to take time and take reps and that’s what I’ve been trying
to do this spring and summer. Doing a lot of drills with cutting and
making sure I’m getting better at route running.
Q. During the biggest wins last season- against Auburn and Georgia specifically (223 all-purpose yds, 3 TD’s)–
you were front and center. What is it about when the clock gets to the
4th quarter and the lights are shining brightest that triggers
something inside of you?
A. As the game goes on, I get
hungrier and I want the ball in my hands more. We’ve had a few big
wins last year and played in a lot of close games but I just want to
make sure we can capitalize and finish this year. The thing that
triggers me is just my heart. I’ve always played with so much heart
and pride in what I do, and I think it just really shows when everybody
else gets tired.
Q. You can
help the team so much when you have the ball in your hands, but are you
the kind of guy who looks to help his team just as much without the
ball, as a team leader?
yeah, definitely. That’s my purpose. That’s what I’m on this team
for. I know that I have the ability to make a big play, but I want to
make sure that I’m helping the guys around me to make them realize that
they have the confidence themselves to make a big play just so we can
all work together and get the job done.
Coach Sanders compared you to Hines Ward when he was playing in college
at Georgia- is there a guy you try to model your game after or you want
to be compared to?
A. (Hines Ward) is exactly who I try
to model my game after. That’s what I look for- he’s a big tough
receiver and that’s what I want to be known for, even though I’m not
the biggest guy on the team.
Q. So we can expect to see some big down-field blocks from you then?
A. That’s the plan! That’s what I’ve been training for.
When you’re watching highlights on Saturday or Sunday, who are some of
the other guys you keep tabs on- who are some of the top multiple
threat guys that you like to watch?
A. I find myself
looking at a lot of older guys now, like DeSean Jackson, Percy Harvin,
Wes Welker, all the type of guys that I would be on the next level. I
try to see what kinds of things they do to help get open and use it in
my game. But I also keep up with a lot of guys in my league as far as
A.J. Green and Julio Jones- we have a tremendous amount of athletes in
the SEC and I like to keep up with them and see what everybody’s doing.
Q. What has the transition been like going from Coach Brooks to Coach Phillips?
I think the biggest thing is just the intensity. A lot of things are
the same. Coach Brooks and Coach Phillips have kept us very
disciplined over the years, and Coach Phillips came in and realized
we’re a good team with a lot of talent. One of the things we haven’t
been in the past is physical while playing fast. That’s one of the
things we wanted to incorporate in our spring practice. You saw a lot
more intensity because people started to care about their jobs more and
take care of their responsibilities.
That game on the end of the schedule every year must mean a lot to you
being from Tennessee (Alcoa HS). Right now you guys are 0-2 against
the Vols so far in your career. What is that game like playing against
them for you and what do you hope to show them this season in Knoxville?
I was waiting on that question! The last two years, we had our chances
but we just didn’t get the job done and finish like we needed to. It’s
rough on me because I have to go home and listen to all the UT fans and
my friends messing with me, so it’s a very important game to me. But I
want to take it a game at a time and focus on Louisville and get ready
for the season.
Q. With a
lot of experienced players returning on offense, tell us what the
feeling is like around this team for what kind of season the Wildcats
are capable of this fall?
A. Coach Phillips has really
installed “Operation: Win”. The feeling around the team is that we
really don’t get the national respect we deserve. We’re going to use
that as motivation and prove something this year. We’ve been known as
a basketball school and we want to make this a perennial powerhouse as
far as football and basketball go. We just need to start finishing
these close games and start winning. We just have to win games.
Q. So if you had to pick one word to describe this team as you guys head towards the 2010 season, what would it be?