Relationship with a coach, change in position put Cobb on pro path

Published 11:20 pm Thursday, June 13, 2019


Contributing Writer


Randall Cobb viewed himself as a quarterback coming to college after his outstanding prep career in Alcoa, Tennessee, and did start four games as quarterback his freshman season at UK for coach Rich Brooks. His sophomore year he played mainly receiver, but also returned punts and kicks and held for field goals and extra points.

His junior season, Joker Phillips became the new head coach after Brooks retired. Cobb became the first UK player to have a rushing, passing and receiving touchdown in a game since Shane Boyd in 2003 and also tied the school record for career touchdowns with 32.

“Because of my pride, I wanted to be a quarterback and made that known,” Cobb said. “The coaching staff helped me see that I could have a longer NFL career at receiver. I eventually believed them and it has worked out like they said.”

It has worked out so well that Cobb played eight years for the Green Bay Packers and had 470 catches in 105 NFL games for 5,524 yards — an average of 11.8 yards per catch — and 75 touchdowns. After missing seven games with injuries last season, the Packers did not re-sign him and he landed a 1-year, $5-million contract with Dallas.

Cobb knows he still has Brooks to thank for “only” making $5 million this year.

“Coach Brooks had a huge impact on my life. I would probably not be where I am at if not for him,” Cobb said. “He shot me straight and told you how things were going to be. I valued his opinion a lot as an 18- and 19-year-old kid, and still do.

“I am thankful for having him in my life. We still talk. He came up to a game two years ago and him and his wife came to dinner after the game. He was at my wedding back in 2017.”