Fullback's Final Year

Kyle Cobia is a senior fullback from Lakeland and has dealt with numerous injuries throughout his career at Miami. Right now Cobia is healthy and putting a lot of effort into spring practices to get geared up for the 2004 season. There are only 10 seniors on the team and only four other seniors came in the same year as Cobia.

Chris Myers, Joel Rodriguez, Santonio Thomas, and Derrick Crudup all arrived at Miami in 2000.

"It really has hit me that this is my final year," Cobia said. "Every practice I go to I practice like it is my last of the year. This is my last time to prove to people who have seen me go through a lot of injuries. I am just ready to do it. I have been hurt a lot and I don't think I have shown my full potential. It seems like right when I am starting to I get some nagging injury to set me back. For my senior year I am ready to just get in there and do what it takes."

Throughout his career he has dealt with stingers in his nerves, an odd shifting of the tibia bone, a concussion, and a dislocated shoulder that required surgery.

"I think I have just been playing with injuries. It is something in football that you can't play scared and you can't play afraid to get hurt. Then again you have to go out there and know in your mind that you are not going to get hurt. I have been unlucky, but so far I have been blessed in the off-season with great rehab. So hopefully I can have a good healthy season to close out my career."

Injuries are something that has affected the career of Cobia, but he understands that all football players must be tough regardless of their positions.

"Throughout the year in football, if you ask anyone how they feel and they are sore. It is just that you have to be tough. It doesn't matter where you play you have to be tough. Even if you are a kicker you have to be tough. Going through the grind of a season will get to you."

Playing fullback is one of the toughest positions in football. It is a job that often goes unnoticed and does not contain a lot of glory. Cobia has played in 26 career games and has only had 12 rushing attempts with 11 receptions and zero touchdowns.

"It is one of those positions that you have to love the game of football. It might be my personal bias, but I think it is one of the toughest positions on the field. You have to have the hands and skills of a skill player and the toughness and "go-get-it" attitude of a lineman. You have to be able to play against the corners and the defensive line."

Quadtrine Hill has started the majority of the time at fullback over the past two seasons and this spring he has been moved to tailback. Hill has done well early in spring practices and hopes to remain a tailback, his more natural position.

"I am excited for Quad to move to tailback. He has played good football for us. He has helped the team a lot playing fullback with me having all of these injuries. I am excited for him. I think he is going to be real good. I think he has the potential to be up there with the other guys."

The other guys are Frank Gore and Tyrone Moss. Two tailbacks that had standout prep careers in South Florida. Gore won't be participating in spring practices as he recovers from a torn ACL. Moss has a lot of potential and finished the 2003 season with 511 yards.

"Frank has the potential to be the running back in the country and so does Tyrone. We have a lot of depth at tailback. Quadtrine hasn't really played that position at Miami so he has to prove himself, but he has the ability to do it. That is another position if you have two or three people to play the position it helps the team that much more. Coach Soldinger likes to rotate guys in there."

With Hill moving to tailback it opens up more snaps for Cobia and fellow senior Talib Humphrey who received a medical redshirt last year after having a strained Achilles.

"It is just me and Talib back there both coming off of injuries. He had surgery on his Achilles. I think he is 100 percent now and I feel 100 percent also. At fullback I think you really need two people. It is something that you could only have one guy if you don't have two. You can go the whole year with just one guy if you need to. It just helps having fresh legs in there."

Spring practices are a time to get a lot of reps in and establish playing time. For Cobia it is one last spring at Greentree. Season opener on September 6th can't come soon enough for this tough football player.

"I am just ready for this year. In my mind I am going to help the team win all 11 games this year and the National Championship."

Christopher Stock is a Staff Columnist for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@grassy.com.

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