UK Football: New coaches, system is not an issue for senior defensive tackle Mister Cobble
Senior tackle Mister Cobble (97) likes that new line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh, right, is a former Southeastern Conference lineman and can use his experience to help make him a better player. (Clay Jackson / January 23, 2013)
“It is a change. It is a new system, it is different. But this is my third set of coaches since I have been here, and every year it changes. I just like to take it like it is a new approach and it is something new coming in, so I just buy into the system as quick as I can and get into the system and get used to it,” said Cobble, who has played in 22 games the last seasons and started 13 times.
“Change is always good if change is for the better. If it is something that is going to make the team better as a unit, I feel like I will do whatever you want me to do.”
Cobble has 59 career tackles, including six for loss and three quarterback sacks. Yet he’s failed to have the breakthrough season many expected after he had over 300 tackles in high school at Central. He was redshirted his freshman season and then was academically ineligible for all of the 2010 season, his redshirt freshman year, except for the BBVA Compass Bowl. He led UK’s defensive linemen with 33 tackles, including five against Louisville and LSU, in 2011 and last year played well the first three games before an illness forced him to miss two games and spend the rest of the season rebuilding his strength and stamina.
“I have yet to be able to put the best out there because of injuries and my academics. I feel like this year if I keep working and get myself better, I will be able to get on the field and do everything possible to help the team and show all that I can do,” he said.
New defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh, who played at Auburn, has been pushing Cobble in spring drills.
“I felt like the style he wants from me is similar to what I like. From his past being a defensive lineman himself, he has more experience in games and a more detailed viewing of my position that he can give me. I feel like that is better for my abilities to help me get better because he’s been there doing what I am doing. He knows what I am going through,” Cobble said.
“The defense is simpler this year. I can say that. It is not as complex as it used to be. Every day we come in it may be something different, but it is not like tedious or different alterations to everything. It’s just something you come out and do. It’s more fun. When we come out to practice, it is not as complex. One play, bam. We know what to do and can do it.”
The senior said the Wildcats do feel they have to prove there is more talent on the team than most college football analysts, and even UK fans, believe after last year’s 2-10 season.
“We always feel that way. We always try to be better than we used to be. Even though it seems like people think we have a chip on our shoulder, which we do, we try to come out and take it one day at a time to get better,” Cobble said. “It is my last year and I am going to have as much fun as possible. Every day is countdown for me. It is my last chance to get better and get our team better.”
Cobble goes into his senior season with no regrets because he feels he has grown on and off the field because of the trials and tribulations he has faced the last four years.
“I feel like I have grown more as a person first and then as a player. I feel like off the field, I have matured a lot and I needed to,” he said. “Then on the field I have gained more experience being here. I feel like I take a different approach to things. My attitude is better. I can see myself changing day to day.
“It is a lot of mental stress with all the things surrounding you in the outside world coming in on you, but if you try to take everything one day at a time, you can do it and it will be fine. It’s just certain things people can’t handle. Some people can, some people can’t. I learned that the hard way, but it has made me a better person in the long run.”
Now he’s ready for his final season that could include having UK face five teams — Alabama, Louisville, Texas A&M, Florida and Georgia — ranked in the preseason top 10. However, Cobble thinks the demanding schedule could be the right way to start the Mark Stoops’ coaching era at Kentucky and right way for him to end his career.
“It is more exciting than scary. I like going against big-name opponents,” he said. “That allows me to go on there and match myself up against them and go against them. Rankings don’t matter to me. We go out on the field and determines who is better by who wins at the end of the day. It’s an opportunity for us to show what we can do and that we can play with those teams. If you are a competitor and believe in your team, you want to play the best.”