Kiffin can't figure how Cobb escaped Vols

Former Alcoa star has scored 14 touchdowns

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Want to know what type of impact Randall Cobb will have on the Tennessee-Kentucky game on Saturday? Just check the scoreboard.

"I think you're talking about potentially a 14 to 21 point difference in one player about whether he was signed at Tennessee or went to Kentucky," UT coach Lane Kiffin said this week.

Perhaps the Vols could have signed Cobb in 2006 had former coach Phillip Fulmer's staff pursued him earlier, as Kentucky did. The Vols made a last ditch effort but ultimately the former Alcoa High School star stuck to his initial commitment to play for the Wildcats.

"I don't like that for two reasons," Kiffin said. "People always think about recruiting about making your own team better, but if you miss on a guy and he goes within your conference and you don't take him, then it's a double-whammy.

"Not only is he not playing for you, but then you've got to play him every year."

The 5-foot-11, 188-poundCobb further emphasizes that point by playing so many positions. The sophomore has lined up at receiver and quarterback in the wildcat package and also has been used as a punt returner, kick returner and even holds for extra points. He has scored 14 touchdowns.

Cobb, who plays primarily at receiver, ranks in the top 10 of four SEC statistical categories.

He is first in the SEC in scoring among non-kickers with 8.4 points per game. He is third in punt return average (13.3), ninth in kick return average (25.2) and fourth in all purpose yardage (482).

Cobb's 3.3 receptions and 40.3 receiving yards per game ranks 12th and 16th in the SEC, respectively.

UT defensive tackle Wes Brown called Cobb a "great player".

"He can really run," the senior said.

Sure, Cobb is athletic, but when you ask coaches about him there's something innate that impresses them.

"His ability to make plays," Kiffin said. "He's not necessarily the fastest guy. He's not the biggest guy. He's one of those football savvy players; you see it.

"Whether it's catching a pass, whether it's taking a snap, whether it's taking a handoff, or whether it's returning (punts and kicks), he just has an ability for people not to get him down and make plays no matter where he's at."

Alcoa coach Gary Rankin saw proof of that when he coached Cobb for two seasons, 2006 and 2007.

"Some kids would be insulted if you asked them to do all that," Rankin said Wednesday on The Sports Page radio show when asked of Cobb's multi-purpose role at Kentucky. "But he loves playing.

"He's a competitor. He's a great kid. He's a smart kid. He's a driven kid. I really think he'll be a great player at the next level (in the NFL)."

However, Rankin admitted the quick success has been a bit surprising.

"If I said I wasn't surprised, it would be a lie because I don't think anybody could say they knew this was going to happen to Randall Cobb and I knew him as well as anybody," Rankin said. "I knew he would be a good player there. I had no idea he would have the kind of impact he's had on them in two years.

"You don't do that in the SEC. You don't jump in the SEC and start dominating at certain times at certain positions. I'm surprised he's done so much so quickly."

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Comments » 53

Ringside writes:

Thanks Phil. I guess the headlights were too bright.

CB4VOLZ writes:

84 points per game.... that's pretty stout..

riversetvol writes:

Where was the Great Recruiter? He gets Tyler Maples and loses Randall Cobb.

Way to go Flummo!

crimsonviper writes:

in response to BIGGEST_UT_FAN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good One Big!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Good luck saturday...keep the streak alive!...GBO

VOLinCO writes:

in response to CB4VOLZ:

84 points per game.... that's pretty stout..

Seems like they would have won a few more games with those numbers...

OwensboroVol writes:

When we didn't sign R. Cobb I thought it was a terrible mistake. I believe that if there is a in state kid who has the talent to play SEC caliber football, I think you go full board to sign him, whether you need his position or not. The pride the in state kids get wearing that orange jersey is something else. They have a life time of knowing the stories and legends of the games with Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

Someone help me out on this but I seem to remember that Cobb wanted a chance to play at Quarterback and Fulmer was recruiting him at another position. He ended up playing other positions than QB anyway, but I guess KY gave him the chance and we didn't want to. A terrible mistake.

Waldorf writes:

Things I am thankful for -

No more Foolmore.

rudy123 writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

When we didn't sign R. Cobb I thought it was a terrible mistake. I believe that if there is a in state kid who has the talent to play SEC caliber football, I think you go full board to sign him, whether you need his position or not. The pride the in state kids get wearing that orange jersey is something else. They have a life time of knowing the stories and legends of the games with Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

Someone help me out on this but I seem to remember that Cobb wanted a chance to play at Quarterback and Fulmer was recruiting him at another position. He ended up playing other positions than QB anyway, but I guess KY gave him the chance and we didn't want to. A terrible mistake.

If you will recall, Fulmer recruited Whitten to
play Tightend but Whitten only wanted to play
Defense. Fulmer was able to sign him and then
got staff members to whisper in his ear everyday.
He finally agreed to try being a tight-end and
the rest is history.
Why couldn't Fulmer do the same with Cobb? Bring him in as a QB and then convince him that he would play sooner if he agreed to change positions?

ACWLY writes:

Same way they missed GARRETT REYNOLDS, (Knoxville Carter HS) Offensive Tackle drafted by the Atlanta Falcons... THEY DIDN'T LOOK!!!!

PumpVOL writes:

As happy as I am to see Phillip gone from UT, he is not to blame for Randall going to UK. UT never had a chance, he was going to UK from day 1. No other school had a chance at all. Phillip knew that and didn't go after him until late.

golfin_blondie writes:

Another one that got away was "Can anybody say Marshall??" Agree completely Tennessee in the past has not recuited the in State talent, but I firmly believe Kiffin will change that one.

FWBVol writes:

in response to golfin_blondie:

Another one that got away was "Can anybody say Marshall??" Agree completely Tennessee in the past has not recuited the in State talent, but I firmly believe Kiffin will change that one.

Pennington himself has admitted he wasn't ready to play in the SEC when he graduated from Webb School. He had to take a redshirt year at Marshall and was a late bloomer.

OK, Fulmer missed Cobb, but even his Cobb's high school coach said what he has done at Kentucky has been a surprise.

I'll be glad when the Phillip Fulmer era is far enough in the rear view mirror that some people will stop taking pot shots at him all the time. Yes, it was his time to go, but Phillip Fulmer remains a part of the Tennessee Family and has played a large part in the success of the Volunteer football program for the last 40 years.

tloutn writes:

Randall is a great story. Those Alcoa teams he played on were loaded with Warren, Dustin Lindsey, Lanxter, Brian Sommer, Chris Shiverdecker and Rae Sykes. I remember Randall being a 3 star kid, much in the same mold as our own Dennis Rogan, but much better on the field than on paper. Just more proof that you can't measure how good a football player a kid is when you can't measure their heart. Seeing how his teammates have burned out or not lived up to their potential it's great to see him do well 11 weeks out of the year.

Go Vols!

posivol writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Pennington himself has admitted he wasn't ready to play in the SEC when he graduated from Webb School. He had to take a redshirt year at Marshall and was a late bloomer.

OK, Fulmer missed Cobb, but even his Cobb's high school coach said what he has done at Kentucky has been a surprise.

I'll be glad when the Phillip Fulmer era is far enough in the rear view mirror that some people will stop taking pot shots at him all the time. Yes, it was his time to go, but Phillip Fulmer remains a part of the Tennessee Family and has played a large part in the success of the Volunteer football program for the last 40 years.

good post fwb,

cobb wanted to play qb,uk said ok ut said no.end of story,unless you think its ok to lie to these kids to recruit them.

chad_t31 writes:

At least we recruited and signed reggie cobb. Big miss on Randall.

chad_t31 writes:

How is 482 yards ranked 4th in the conference? Is that just for those without a true position? Pretty sure there are many others with more total yardage.

miketnvolsfan writes:

CORN THE COBB CORN THE COBB BERRY CRACK COBB AND I DONT CARE and carve your name in stone in the record books GBO

Dobervol writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

. . . and the Majors loons won't let it go, either. Anyone wanna b**&^% about that "traitor" Dickey leaving us to go to UF? Please, both Majors and Phillip made great contributions to UT for which they should be fondly remembered, BUT both needed to be "helped" out the door when they were, and people need to stop living in the past (or at least griping about it), and support and talk about our coaches NOW. Sheesh!

mattnchatt writes:

As long as we don't let him run wild like McCluster then who cares why he is at Kentucky rather than UT. The D needs to key on him wherever he lines up.

bobbytodd writes:

in response to Tellico_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did you really just act like race is an issue? Didn't a black QB win a national championship for us? We also had Brent Shaffer until he decided to ruin his career. Plus we had Boyd coming in this year until Kif sent him packing. I would say 80% of the team is black so I don't think UT is racist toward QB's.

newtonrail writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

When we didn't sign R. Cobb I thought it was a terrible mistake. I believe that if there is a in state kid who has the talent to play SEC caliber football, I think you go full board to sign him, whether you need his position or not. The pride the in state kids get wearing that orange jersey is something else. They have a life time of knowing the stories and legends of the games with Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

Someone help me out on this but I seem to remember that Cobb wanted a chance to play at Quarterback and Fulmer was recruiting him at another position. He ended up playing other positions than QB anyway, but I guess KY gave him the chance and we didn't want to. A terrible mistake.

Yes, Kentucky promised him a chance to play QB. I've never been a Fulmer fan, but the attacks on this are asinine. Does he lie to kid and tell him he'll go ahead of Crompton and Stephens?

newtonrail writes:

in response to Dobervol:

. . . and the Majors loons won't let it go, either. Anyone wanna b**&^% about that "traitor" Dickey leaving us to go to UF? Please, both Majors and Phillip made great contributions to UT for which they should be fondly remembered, BUT both needed to be "helped" out the door when they were, and people need to stop living in the past (or at least griping about it), and support and talk about our coaches NOW. Sheesh!

Who died and made you god?

Southland writes:

Coach Majors missed as many if not more in state players than did Fulmer. Neither should have missed half the ones that they did. Check Bama's roster. They are always whining about how few big time recruits are from Tennessee. Check the rosters of other schools and look at the ones that got away. Two of the best recievers in the country came from Hendersonville and Goodpasture. USC and Notre Dame got them. WE dont even have any really good receivers. Apparently we dont know how to recruit them anymore. We will see if Kiffen can do better.

LiveFaith writes:

Sometimes when you load up out of state, your competitors load up in your back yard. Sometimes.
I'll put our (Majors, Fulmer. Kiffin) out of states stolen up against our in-states lost any day.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to bobbytodd:

Did you really just act like race is an issue? Didn't a black QB win a national championship for us? We also had Brent Shaffer until he decided to ruin his career. Plus we had Boyd coming in this year until Kif sent him packing. I would say 80% of the team is black so I don't think UT is racist toward QB's.

Tellico slipped off Ball River Falls and hit his head. He has no idea what Race is what.Let alone knowing Black or White. So you shouldn't be surprised if he didn't know UT was one of the First SEC schools to have a Black QB. UT has also had more Black QB's than other SEC schools. Not sure about that but it will be close. Yelling Racial issues has been so popular in the past some folks can't come to grips with the fact those days are now history.

vincentvol writes:

Think that Randall Cobb, Golden Tate and Donte Hightower could have saved Fat Phil? I've heard that he dropped off Tate because he wanted to play baseball too. Recruiting is the lifeblood of D-1 football, and Fulmer missed on key prospects right under his nose.

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

David Cutcliffe , if not for him, fulmost wood have not lasted as long as he he .

1vavolfan writes:

Fulmer's gone but his legacy continues

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to posivol:

good post fwb,

cobb wanted to play qb,uk said ok ut said no.end of story,unless you think its ok to lie to these kids to recruit them.

Apparently, U.K. thinks it's o.k. because he is not playing q.b. at U.K.

UneducatedRedneck writes:

Every school has in-state talent that gets away...Gerald Jones and David Oku were the top-rated players in Oklahoma when they came out. Ditto for Bryce Brown in Kansas and Eric Berry in Georgia. It's unrealistic to assume that every talented kid in the state is gonna wear orange. We'll just let Kentucky throw their best eleven men on the field, and let Kiffin do the same, and see what happens.

CallitasIseeitVol writes:

Wow...What a great post saying Fulmer EARNED his way into the Hall of Fame without a doubt!!! But he sure as heck earned his pink slip...I was at the national championship game and reveled in the moment,went to almost every bowl game, and will cherish the Peyton years forever but no one can defend the Fulmer trend line the last 5 years...Hamilton waited too long. But enough, new era - Go Vols!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good post, but lose the logic.

Won't play well with some on here.

volunteer_cowboy writes:

in response to bobbytodd:

Did you really just act like race is an issue? Didn't a black QB win a national championship for us? We also had Brent Shaffer until he decided to ruin his career. Plus we had Boyd coming in this year until Kif sent him packing. I would say 80% of the team is black so I don't think UT is racist toward QB's.

Condredge Holloway and Tony Robinson. Somebody needs to get facts straight before using the race card!!!!!

516milesfromUT writes:

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

516milesfromUT writes:

in response to Waldorf:

Things I am thankful for -

No more Foolmore.

Things i am thankful for-
Being the biggest Vol fan in Pennsylvania.
Not being a Gator fan in Pennsylvania!
Seeing the Vols in Neyland stadium 12 times.
Being one of many kick a** vols fans.
Not being a Gator fan in Pennsylvania!
Going bowling this year.
Signing a top 3 class in 2010.
Not being a Gator fan in Pennsylvania!.
Watching the last SEC Championship involving the Gators.
Not being a Gator fan in Pennsylvania!
Being part of the BIG ORANGE NATION.
Hope everybody enjoys thier eats today.

Dobervol writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Rich, if you read my whole post, you'll see I said he should've been fired (helped out the door) at the end. He can't pizz on any Vol fan's leg anymore. FWIW, JM's more bitter today than Fulmer was the day after the firing, but most coaches are bitter when they get canned. I don't understand what folks get out of continued postings expressing how much and why they hated the guy nearly a year after he's gone. Same thing, though, w/regard to the Fulmer supporters who want to keep posting he shouldn't have been fired. What does either side get out of rehashing it? It's done.

TommyJack writes:

Leaving a job to take the HC job at your alma mater is NOT being a traitor. Sheesh.

Dobervol writes:

in response to newtonrail:

Who died and made you god?

Struck a nerve w/you, did I? Newton, as a "regular" poster here, the better question than your one line, unoriginal insult is why you'd feel so offended by the expression of what is obviously only an opinion on my part, on a forum where sarcasm is almost required to survive? I have no right to issue edicts or decrees, and only opined that people SHOULD (NOT have to or are ordered to) stop the back and forth sniping about former coaches. And even if I was the little internet god known as a moderator, I would continue to allow you to verbally hang yourself with your own remarks, even if I disagreed.

HallowedHill writes:

F is for Fulmer who was Fired in the Fall.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to scknowsit:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You don't know what UT does with their players. You don't know it. You don't know s***

paul5170 writes:

in response to volunteer_cowboy:

Condredge Holloway and Tony Robinson. Somebody needs to get facts straight before using the race card!!!!!

And some guy named Jimmy Streeter.I remember Cobb being this skinney little kid or to small for Fulmer.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to VolFanInTheBoro:

You don't know what UT does with their players. You don't know it. You don't know s***

I must disagree. scknowsit knows stupidity...He is a master of it.

Singaporehillbilly writes:

in response to riversetvol:

Where was the Great Recruiter? He gets Tyler Maples and loses Randall Cobb.

Way to go Flummo!

Well, Kiffin got an armed robber while Georgia got Brown. With the current staff only offering four scholorships to Tennessee HS players, this comment will come back to haunt Kiffin.

Ringside writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Pennington himself has admitted he wasn't ready to play in the SEC when he graduated from Webb School. He had to take a redshirt year at Marshall and was a late bloomer.

OK, Fulmer missed Cobb, but even his Cobb's high school coach said what he has done at Kentucky has been a surprise.

I'll be glad when the Phillip Fulmer era is far enough in the rear view mirror that some people will stop taking pot shots at him all the time. Yes, it was his time to go, but Phillip Fulmer remains a part of the Tennessee Family and has played a large part in the success of the Volunteer football program for the last 40 years.

Thanks Vickie.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

Obviously Cobb's pride was bigger than his desire to go to U.T. Tennessee offered late which is still an offer. If he wanted to come to U.T. he would have-but he wanted to play QB at Kentucky.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are exactly right...we are comparing appples and oranges when it comes to recruiting....everybody has the inside on this guy....man, this will happen every year with someone we miss on....just hope it doesnt happen often enough to mess up local recruiting...its not an exact science...

nbt44 writes:

My wife and I know the Cobb family. Randall would have preferred to play at UT. He never got a single call or visit from Fulmer or anyone on Fat Phil's staff. After it was too late...Fat Foolmer sent him a letter...A LETTER! Way to go Foolmer! We could have had Randall in a heartbeat if you weren't an incompetent idiot! Randall Cobb would have been a fantastic Vol. Yet another example of why Fatty should have been canned years ago.

wbpyle writes:

RANDALL COBBB(W.R.C)IS GODS WAY FOR PAYING BACK UT FOR CHRIS LOFTON.HE WAS ONE THE BEST BASKETBALL PLAYERS TO EVER PLAY AT UT.THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT COBB IS THE BEST FB PLAYER TO EVER PLAY AT UK.HE HAS THE HEART OF A LION!MUCH LIKE PF TUBBY SMITH DROPPED THE BALL ON CHRIS LOFTON.CATS WILL END THAT STREAK 31-17 AND W.R.C HAS A HUGE GAME!GO CATS

balloonman writes:

Hey Witch Doctor & all the rest of you haters....and you too Kiffin....i have 2 words for ya.....Tajh Boyd!

tloutn writes:

in response to balloonman:

Hey Witch Doctor & all the rest of you haters....and you too Kiffin....i have 2 words for ya.....Tajh Boyd!

I've got three letters for you A-C-L

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