Randall Cobb enjoys return to Alcoa

Time with family, friends important to former Kentucky star

Kentucky quarterback Randall Cobb is approached by Tennessee linebacker LaMarcus Thompson (42) as he runs the ball during a Nov. 29, 2008 game at Neyland Stadium.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Kentucky quarterback Randall Cobb is approached by Tennessee linebacker LaMarcus Thompson (42) as he runs the ball during a Nov. 29, 2008 game at Neyland Stadium.

ALCOA - Life has been pretty hectic for Randall Cobb since being drafted April 29 by the Green Bay Packers in the 2011 NFL draft, so he took a step back the past couple of days.

Cobb, former star at Alcoa High School and the University of Kentucky, returned to his hometown Thursday for a few days of fun and relaxation.

On Saturday afternoon, Cobb signed autographs for two hours at the Martin Luther King Community Center and later enjoyed the annual Independence Day celebration there.

"I've been away from home for so long," Cobb said before the autograph session. "Just to be back with my family and friends and get back with the community and celebrate the Fourth, it's a great opportunity to be back and enjoy some free time."

And no better place to do it than the MLK Community Center.

"I grew up in this center," Cobb said. "We had the Boys and Girls Club in here when I was younger. This is just a place I've always remembered."

Cobb played receiver, quarterback, and punt/kick returner for Kentucky the past three seasons and bypassed his senior season for the NFL. He was drafted with the 64th overall pick.

Since then, Cobb has stayed plenty busy - despite the NFL lockout that prevents rookies and other players from organized workouts at team facilities.

"Been everywhere," Cobb said. "Been out in L.A. a little bit for a photo shoot for rookie cards and pictures I'll be signing here, and training out there (in L.A.), and I went to Phoenix and trained with (Arizona Cardinals wide receiver) Larry Fitzgerald and a couple of the guys there, and I've been in Florida working out at IMG Academies and had a rookie symposium this past week."

Cobb spent part of Thursday and Friday working out with some of Alcoa High School's wide receivers and running backs in a field behind Alcoa Elementary School.

"That's very important to me," Cobb said. "They're the future.

"I'm trying to give back any way I can, and I think just me being around them and influencing them any way I can is the most important thing, but also showing them how I got to where I'm at with the hard work and dedication I had on the field, the training and working out and keeping myself ready and prepared for whenever the season came."

Many believe the Packers got a steal in Cobb with the 64th pick. He earned numerous All-America awards at Kentucky, where he was became perhaps the SEC's most versatile player.

The Packers see the 5-foot-10, 192-pound Cobb as a valuable addition to an already potent passing attack and a much-needed addition to an inconsistent return game.

Cobb will be ready for whatever the Packers throw at him.

"I think it's a perfect fit," he said. "They have a great offense, a great offensive scheme, a great offensive mindset, and I'm just hoping I can contribute in any way, and also in the return game."

For Cobb, there's no second-guessing the decision to skip his senior year at Kentucky.

"You never can look back on things," he said. "I was blessed to have the opportunity to take this step and go into the NFL. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity and I had to jump on it, and I was lucky enough to get picked up by the Super Bowl defending champions. It's been a great experience and I've never had any second thoughts about it."

Dave Link is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 7

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Funny how folks can say this, but get offended when one says Peyton didn't beat Florida. UT would have won 1-2 more games per yr if we had Randall Cobb. He is 15 times better at PR than anyone he have had in yrs. UT missed the boat on this one. But the kid has been a class act and had nothing but goods things to say about UT.

dvols writes:

playing for the pack aint bad! aint bad at all...

givehim6 writes:

Now Cobb is part of GB and not a wild cat { opps, mild cat } I'll be rooting for him agian.

tovolny writes:

Cobb is a wonderful young man. I would have liked for him to have gone to UT, but considering his situation objectively, I think his decision to go to Kentucky was sound. He has the football instincts and quickness that will make him a Packer fan favorite. I can hardly wait to see him play. I am very proud of this fellow Tennessean.

ArmyDad writes:

Wonder if Phil Fulmer can finally find the time to go so far out of his way from his Maryville home to Alcoa to see Randall now?

Bufforange00 writes:

Florida was better than UT during the years of 1994-1996. Peyton was a great QB but his only realistic chance in the series was in 1997. Unfortunately, the game was at UF and the Gators and Spurrier were in his and Fulmer's heads' (see INT to Tony George, etc). Had Peyton redshirted in 1994, he would have been eligible in 1998, and would have had a great shot to knock off the Gators. But for the purpose of the UF game, UT might have been better off without him.

IMAMOMAFAN writes:

Funny how this article is about Randall but TN fans always want to make it about TN. Randall was offered a scholarship from TN but decided to go to Kentucky. Let that go and be happy for the young man!

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