Prospect Interview: RB Cedric Cobbs

As the countdown begins to the NFL combine in Indianapolis, IN, athletes and their agents seek the assistance of various fitness and workout gurus to help give them the edge and get the maximum potential out of themselves.

All-SEC RB Chris Perry, among others.

What has brought these men here? World renown strength, speed, and flexibility coaching from Tom Shaw. Shaw has helped produce 54 1st round draft picks in the last 6 years alone. He has worked with the likes of Jevon Kearse.

Is this training helping Cobbs? "I can feel myself getting faster, quicker, and stronger."

Shaw puts them through two workouts a day - a morning session from 9:00am - 12:30pm and then from 4:00pm - 5:30pm. During these workouts the players do certain combine drills, running, weight lifting, and position specific drills.

How do you get prepared mentally for the combine, Cedric?

"I am training my body to increase my stamina; I am taking every drill very seriously. I'm sure I'll be nervous but I just have to let my natural abilities take over."

Cobbs, a 5th year senior on Houston Nutt's 9-4 Razorback team, had an outstanding season as he rushed for 1,320 yards on 227 attempts and 10 td's. He then followed that up with a 27 carry, 141 yards and 1 td performance in an Independence Bowl victory over Missouri.

Some scouts have been concerned with Cedric's past injuries as he has had surgery to repair an injured shoulder, a hamstring injury and he missed a couple of games due to an injured toe. So how is his health now?

"I am 100% and ready to go." Cobbs equates the hamstring problem to nutrition and not exercising properly, which he has since corrected.

Cobbs has attracted the attention of several NFL teams including Washington, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Dallas, Miami, New Orleans, Oakland, Pittsburgh, and Detroit.

"Right now I'm hearing from a lot of teams, so it's tough to pick certain ones that are showing the most interest in me." When asked who he most likens his style of play to, "I would say Barry Sanders and Walter Payton. I think I have a little of each of them. I have speed, I am elusive, I am more physical than a lot of running backs, and I stand out."

Cedric participated in the 2004 Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL. He was Coached and monitored on and off the field by NFL scouts and coaches and interviewed by a host of front office personnel. "They keep a close eye on you, to see if you are the kind of player who likes to go out and party, or are you going to be the one that reads his play book and studies film. They really want to be certain of your work ethic."

What was the difference in intensity level going from the SEC to an NFL atmosphere like the Senior Bowl?

"Athletically it wasn't really different, when you play in the SEC it's a tough conference and athletes are athletes no matter where you are."

"But there was more pressure. The coaching and the plays, everything is more intense. They want to make sure you carry yourself like a man and not a boy. They want to make sure you know what you're doing and you have no mental lapses. It is your job and they want you to act like that."

There have been questions about some off the field issues for Cobbs. "There has been a misconception about who I am. I was young and in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was young and made a mistake.

"I feel like I am a better person. I am a Christian; I live my life according to the ways God would want me to, and I feel if I continue to do that I'll be successful. I want people to realize that I am a good person I want to help underprivileged children and give something back to the community."

"I am actually a very boring person. I watch a lot of TV, play video games and rest. I'm not much on going out."

So, being projected as a first day pick, does Cedric have any special plans for Draft day?

"Honestly, I'd like to be in New York and, when they call my name, getting to put on that jersey. I feel that I am just as good if not better than any running back out there. But if that doesn't happen, I'll be ok with that I can handle it."

What sets you apart from the other backs in this draft?

"I feel that I am more physical and I am more athletic than most of them," Cobbs said.

"There are teams out there with veteran backs like Pittsburgh with Jerome Bettis, who is a potential Hall of Famer. Would you prefer to go to a team where you'll come in and be the man or a situation like Pittsburgh where you can get tutored for a season or so by someone like Bettis?"

"Either way I am comfortable, I feel I am the type of player who can be the go-to guy and make an immediate impact, and It can't help going somewhere and learning the ropes from an NFL veteran. But I feel I am mature enough to handle myself on and off the field."

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