The Kentucky junior isn’t sure where he got his competitive nature, but he knows he’s always had it.
“That is just something my dad always put into my head. Any time I was sitting around on the couch watching TV or something, he would say, ‘Why you are sitting here watching TV, somebody else is getting better out there working and getting better than you right now.’ I always tried to go out and work and was always competitive,” Cobb said.
“I remember one time on my baseball team when I was 7 or 8 years old that we had a race around the bases and I got beat and I wouldn’t talk to nobody on the team for a couple of weeks because I was so mad at them. So I have always been competitive like that.”
That didn’t change when he got to Kentucky.
“Nobody likes to lose. I know he doesn’t like to lose, but he knows you will have a winner and loser. He can’t win all the time,” his father said. “The worst I have ever seen him was after the Georgia game his freshman year. That loss hurt him more than anything. I told him that game was behind him and to move forward and learn from it.”
His mother ran track — “he probably gets his speed from me chasing around after him when he was little” — and was not in favor of him playing football because he was so small.
“Even now I still worry he will get hurt. When he comes out and the big guys are on top of him, it always surprises me that he bounces right back up,” she said. “He surprises me a lot on the field. I never know what to expect or how he makes some of those big plays.
“It’s actually more exciting to me to watch him now, but it can also be kind of surreal when he makes one of those special plays or moves. I like to travel and see different football atmosphere and how people act. And I love watching him play because I know what it means to him.”
His father says he always knew his son could be a special player.
“He was such a good running back early. He had vision and could hit holes quick and could make cuts. I didn’t think he had the arm at a young age to play quarterback. At middle school, he just blossomed as a quarterback,” Randall Cobb Sr. said. “He surprises me with things he does. I never thought he could do all this. I thought he would be good enough to play at Kentucky but not good enough to be where is now.”
His father remembers knowing UK had Dicky Lyons Jr. when his son signed and several other talented receivers in the same signing class or already on campus. The outgoing Lyons took Cobb under his wing — Cobb’s father said, “I guess opposites really do attract” — and made his transition to SEC football much easier.
“I told Randall if he worked hard, he could get on the field. I thought as a freshman maybe he could go in, but I never thought about him having the impact he did,” his father said. “I thought he could maybe get on the field maybe 12 plays as receiver. But to go in and play quarterback his freshman year, I never imagined that.
“One thing about coach (Rich) Brooks and coach (Joker) Phillips, they never told Randall a lie during whole recruiting process. Coach Brooks said he was being recruited as a receiver and asked Randall what he thought and Randall told him his heart was at quarterback but he would do whatever the coaches wanted.
“Brooks told him he would give him a shot at quarterback and that is what he did. Then Randall just went in did what he knew how to do and that’s help win games.”