LEXINGTON — Randall Cobb discussed a variety of things during his press conference Thursday to announce he was putting his name into the NFL draft after his All-America season where he set a Southeastern Conference record for all-purpose yardage and led the SEC in receptions per game.
Here are some of the insights he provided:
Question: Did the fact cornerback Trevard Lindley came back for his senior season in 2009 and had his draft status drop impact your decision?
Cobb: “I really didn’t think about his situation. He made the decision he thought was best for him, and he is still where he needs to be (playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.)”
Question: How did his teammates respond to his decision?
Cobb: “Definitely they wanted me to come back and spend another year. We have had so many great times. They wanted what was best for me and respected me.”
Question: What kind of pitch did quarterback Morgan Newton give to try and get him to return?
Cobb: “He is one of my closest friends. I wanted to come back and be with him, but at the same time I had to do what was best for me. I think in times to come that Morgan will be one of best quarterbacks to come through this university.”
Question: Did the potential NFL lockout for next year enter his mind?
Cobb: “I didn’t know how that was going to turn out. I did my homework. I could possibly be grandfathered in to things going in right now and that could hurt me. I am just stepping out on my faith and trusting things will be right.”
Question: Was it tempting to come back and take another shot at beating Tennessee or moving up in the SEC East?
Cobb: “That was a big part of it. That is something I really wanted to do. I still think it can happen. I had a vision when came here of all those things happening. Coach Philips will keep it going. Players pass through the program but there be guys come through and continue this tradition. They are going to recruit kids that have passion and talent.”
Question: Looking back, how hard was that move from quarterback to full-time receiver after your freshman year?
Cobb: “It was very difficult. I really didn’t want to move. I knew it was a better move for the team and the coaching staff knew it. I went with it. I worked my butt off and did everything I could to make myself better at that position. All the hard work and coaching I got really paid off.”
Question: What will he miss the most at Kentucky?
Cobb: “Definitely, the locker room will be the hardest thing. That is where we bonded as teammates. That is where most of my memories will come from.”
Question: What happens next for you?
Cobb: “From here I have to find an agent and get somewhere and start training. Get ready for pro days and get in front of coaches and show my talent.”
Question: Will you return to complete your degree?
Cobb: “That’s the first thing I will do when I get a chance. I want to set some money aside so I will have the chance of coming back to finish my degree. I don’t know when, but I will get my degree. That is the one thing that I promised my mom and my grandmothers.”
Question: What kind of message would you send to Kentucky fans on your departure?
Cobb: “I love you all. Thank you for everything. I hope that in some way, shape or form I was able to inspire you. For all the kids out there I hope you can keep your dreams and always, always keep pushing and do not let anybody stop you. I tried to visit with all the kids I could and do things so they would know I care about them. I want to influence and inspire the people. Hopefully now that I am leaving I can say I did that.”
Question: Will you eventually make Lexington your home?
Cobb: “Very likely. I love it up here and all the people around here.”
Question: How did you grow as a person during your three years at Kentucky?
Cobb: “By being able to realize the influence I had on certain people, and realizing I can be an influence, and that I can be a role model for kids, and that I can put myself out there as a leader in the community and know that we (players) care about them (the community). The kids are the ones that are important because they are the (leaders) of tomorrow.”
Question: When coach Joker Phillips talks about you having ‘it’, what does he mean?
Cobb: “I got to say the ‘it’ is my faith. That sums it up. I have something inside of me that pushes me to keep going. I try to be the best me, and I try to do the best that I can do not only for myself, but for the people around me.”