C.J. Cobb Paying Back

C.J. Cobb has always been right there when we've talked about the offensive linemen since arriving from Jacksonville, Florida in the Class of 2006. Now a senior, Cobb is looking to close out his Bearcats career while paying back the program for what he's received.

Many times we talk about athletes paying forward. While C.J. Cobb is looking to do that he also knows he's got some paying back to do before his career ends. We spoke with Cobb after practice as he talked about his time at Cincinnati and his desire to pay back for the help he's received over the years he's been on campus.

For offensive linemen, playing in a fast pace offense keeps them on their toes. For C.J. Cobb the change from Brian Kelly's fast pace to Butch Jones warp speed has been an eye opener.

"Practice this spring has been much faster than what we've done here before. The last staff brought in more speed and tempo, but with this staff it's out of this world fast."

For C.J. the work he did in the winter prepared him for his final spring session.

"I'm adjusting well. I slimmed down over the winter and I'm playing a new position (tackle) now and I think I'm adjusting really well."

Has time gone by faster than he ever thought it would since coming to campus?

"It is the last year for me. It's hard to believe it's gone by so fast. I feel like I blinked and everything's gone by."

As for this spring C.J. is keeping his goals simple.

"I want to become a better student of the game and learn all the tips and tricks to take my game to the next level this spring."

In the past C.J. has fought some injuries, how are things health wise right now?

"Health wise I think and feel I'm 100%. I'm ready to go ball out this year and bring another title to Cincinnati."

As one of the few players who will have played for Mark Dantonio, Brian Kelly and now Butch Jones, Cobb knows one thing needs to stay consistent.

"We've had three guys, and won two championships. Everything happens for a reason and while the coaching staff may have changed the players here have stayed the same. I feel we're a consistent group so we're going for another championship this year."

One area C.J. is proud to talk about is the changes he's seen in Bearcats football.

"Football wise I remember coming in here for games when there was nobody at the games. They use to put posters in the stands to help fill them up. Now, about every home game is a sell out and that's a pretty good feeling. As for the academics, they have a great system here for success. I'll be graduating after this quarter and then I'll be going into grad school for the season. Academically there is just a great facility here and I have to give them kudos for what they've done and how they've worked with us. As a man this place has taught me a lot. I've learned how to take pride in the things I do and how to finish everything I do."

Not too long ago C.J. remembers people asking him in Florida and in Cincinnati why he left the sunshine state for Cincinnati.

"When I came here people here were asking me what brought me up here and away from Florida. The answer was they pay (for education) I play. So this was the best opportunity for me with them being in the Big East Conference. It was a brand new start when I came here and this program was building and I wanted to be a part of it. When I first came here I felt it was going to be good and knew it was going to be doing some good things and that is what it is doing today and I'm proud to be part of this family."

As for a legacy C.J. looks to leave behind he's had some good teachers helping him.

"The legacy for me…I've been behind a lot of great, great teammates, guys who showed me the ropes and now I feel like it's my turn to continue that with the young generation behind me. I learned so much (C.J. listed many former UC offensive linemen) from them and now I'm taking what they taught me and kind of bringing the young guys along just like they did for me. I'm paying back…"

While C.J. Cobb is looking to pay back the program by helping mentor some of the younger offensive linemen, he also wants to pay back the fans of the University of Cincinnati with another Big East Championship and trip to a BCS game.

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