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Kentucky Football: Will We Be Seeing Theltus "Bookie" Cobbins Next Week?

Theltus Cobbins (nickname "Bookie") hasn't seen a moment of play yet, but we talked a bit about him back before the season.  Cobbins is a sort of heir apparent to Randall Cobb with much of the same skill set -- he can run, he can throw, and he can make plays for the offense.

The reason UK got such a talented guy is that, like Cobb, UK was willing to play him at quarterback when nobody else was.  Almost every school wanted Cobbins as an athlete, a guy who they could put in the slot or use for kick returns.  Cobbins wanted a chance to play quarterback, and Phillips was fine with that.  He'll have to compete for it, though, and Cobbins does not have the prototypical drop-back passer skills and size for the offense UK runs.

One thing about Cobbins -- he's legitimately fast, with 4.4 speed.  If you're the opponent and he gets to he edge on you, it's "Houston, we have a problem."  Cobbins is also a very confident young man who has no fear of taking the game on his shoulders.  He's a unique talent that Phillips was undoubtedly hoping to hold to a redshirt this year, but it looks like he's going to burn that if Cobbins has an impact in practice this week.

Another interesting comment Phillips made today:

ON WHETHER THERE’S A FUTURE RANDALL COBB IN THE PROGRAM NOW: "Everybody talks about Randall. The guy who made a huge difference: Mike Hartline. People won’t like to hear that, but Mike Hartline made a huge difference in getting our protections set, getting the ball out of his hands, getting the ball to those guys who made plays for us. Hartline is a huge, huge loss. We had three really good players in Randall, (Derrick) Locke and Mike. But Mike Hartline is the guy I think was probably the biggest loss we had. It’s hard to see 3,000 yards walk out the door."

This is going to go against the grain, but I think Phillips is right.  We tend to forget that Hartline was the second leading passer in the SEC when Ryan Mallet was #1, and not by all that much.  He got the ball to Randall Cobb, Chris Matthews and Derrick Locke in position to advance the football, and after having seen Morgan Newton for five games now, the difference is striking.

Phillips went on to say that Newton's #1 problem is holding on to the football too long, and he's right.  I went back and looked at the Florida game, and except for the two sacks where the line simply failed to block a rusher, the rest of those sacks were arguably caused by Newton.

John Clay has more here.