So Randall Cobb is leaving the University of Kentucky to play professional football.
I’ve never criticized a college student for leaving school early to take a good job. And whether Cobb does well or not in the pros, he’s leaving behind a Kentucky football program not likely to improve on its dismal 6-7 record and lopsided bowl game loss this season.
The only surprising aspect of the story is that Cobb, who is from Alcoa, Tenn., was emotional about leaving UK. He set the SEC record this season with 2,396 all-purpose yards and accounted for 16 touchdowns four different ways. He finished second in the Paul Hornung Award voting as the nation’s most versatile player. He got all choked up in a news conference today, reading this in a prepared statement:
“This decision’s been weighing on me for a while, and as hard as it was, I had to make the best decision for me, and I felt that it was my time to go to pursue my dream in the NFL.”
Come on, Randall. Nobody expected you to come back to UK. Even if that evaluation you got, the one that predicted you’d be a 3rd-round NFL draftee, had said you’d be lucky to get a free-agent contract, you were gone the moment Pittsburgh took a commanding lead down there in Birmingham.
Here’s some decent logic from ESPN’s Chris Low: His draft stock isn’t going to get any higher than it is right now. So why risk an injury? Scouts will love his versatility. He’ll be one of those guys who will star on special teams and will only get better as a receiver. He’s only played the position full time for two years after playing quarterback in high school.
And what happens at Kentucky? Coach Joker Phillips will have to break in a new QB, for one. And without Cobb, there’s no proven offensive threat in Lexington. Based on the way the season ended, you can bet that U of L will be favored in Lexington next September.