LEXINGTON — Most Kentucky football fans wondered why tight end Jordan Aumiller of Boyle County was not playing against Vanderbilt last Saturday, but he wasn’t surprised he barely played after starting eight of UK’s first 10 games.
“(Tight ends) Coach (Greg) Nord said I didn’t play that well the Charleston Southern game. I need to get better at certain things and last week in practice we all rotated. He just has high expectations for me and I was not living up to them,” said Aumiller, who had been listed as the starter for the game against Vanderbilt.
Freshman Tyler Robinson and junior Nick Melillo basically split time at tight end, a move head coach Joker Phillips said was made based on both player being more physical than Aumiller.
“It was about us being physical in general and not living up to my potential that he (Nord) wants. He was on me pretty hard,” Aumiller said.
“It’s just adversity that you have to deal with. You can’t pout about it or anything. I was out there cheering on Nick and Tyler and going out there on field goals. You just have to get better every week. You can’t be satisfied and have to strive to get better and work harder.”
Still, it was different for Aumiller to be pacing the sideline rather than being an integral part of the offense as he has been from the season-opening game against Louisville until last Saturday.
“It was weird sitting out there and not being out there or talking to coaches and players after the play,” he said. “You just have to practice hard and practice finishing blocks and do little things to make yourself a better player.”
He says he never remembers basically being benched for an entire game other than for an injury at any time during his athletics career.
“Nothing that I can really remember. There were times in basketball where I didn’t play at the start of the game or something like that, but never a whole game like that,” he said. “It was something new, and coach Nord thought I took it well and I just have to keep playing better.”
Aumiller had not complained to anyone about his demotion from the starting team.
“I was not going to say anything about it. I am just going to go out and do my job,” he said.
He hopes he’s back on the field Nov. 27 when UK closes out regular-season play at Tennessee in hopes of breaking a 25-year losing streak to the Volunteers.
“Offensively, we have to get better at the blocking and picking up blitzes. Just everything we started at the beginning of the year has to come together for this game for us to win,” Aumiller said.
If he plays sparingly and UK wins like it did against Vanderbilt, Aumiller will accept that.
“Of course, I didn’t like it when I didn’t play, but I wasn’t going to complain. We are a team and our tight ends are a bunch of brothers,” he said. “I am not going to put down any of them. They are all good players and it was a good time winning and beating Vandy. I would have been more hard on myself if we lost, but since we won it is all good because winning is what matters the most.”
Cobb a Biletnikoff semifinalist: UK junior receiver Randall Cobb has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Fred Biletnikoff Award that is given annually to the best receiver in college football by the Tallahassee (Fla.) Quarterback Club.
Other SEC players nominated are Georgia's A.J. Green, South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery and Alabama's Julio Jones.
Cobb the nation in all-purpose yardage with 186.1 yards per game. He leads the Wildcats in receiving with 66 catches for 839 yards and seven touchdowns. He is first in the SEC in total receptions, and is second in receptions per game (6.0), touchdown catches and total receiving yards.
Other finalists for the Biletnikoff Award include Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles, Texas A&M’s Jeff Fuller, Southern Methodist’s Aldrick Robinson, Hawaii’s Greg Salas and Western Michigan’s Jordan White.
Three finalists for the award will be announced Nov. 22, and the recipient will be announced on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 on ESPN.