By JESSE SMITHEY
It’s not uncommon to see Randall Cobb back in Blount County, helping mold the future of football in these parts.
The Green Bay Packers wideout has held many a camp at his alma mater, Alcoa High School.
But he’s taking his efforts to a different level.
Cobb, a 12-year NFL vet, and some of his relatives and peers are getting into the 7-on-7 football world.
And tryouts for the Randall Cobb Undeniable 15U team will be at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, at Bill Bailey Stadium at Alcoa High.
There is a $5 tryout fee and that includes a shirt.
“Just getting a program going. I feel like there are a lot of kids in the area that are playing on a lot of different teams. Just trying to help pull them in and give them a place with some direction that’s going to fit into the program at Alcoa,” said Cobb.
“We’re trying to teach them about the game. Not just going out and playing on weekends. But teaching them the game of football. Football 101. Now that I’m moving back to Tennessee and going to be in Nashville, I’ll be a bit closer to where I can get back and get my hands on them, as well.”
Cobb, who is now 32 years old, and his family moved back to Tennessee this past spring.
He graduated Alcoa High School in 2008, after winning a Mr. Football Award in 2007 and winning four state titles (2004-07) with the Tornadoes. He played three seasons at the University of Kentucky and then was drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.
The 5-foot-10 Cobb spent the first eight seasons of his NFL career at Green Bay but went on to make career stops in Dallas (2019) and Houston (2020) before returning to the Packers in 2021.
Cobb, who was mainly known as a quarterback and defensive back in high school, has more than 7,500 career receiving yards and 53 touchdowns in his NFL career.
The advent of 7-on-7 was just happening, though, when Cobb was coming up through the high school ranks, he said — nowhere near the magnitude nor scope that it is today.
It was much more of a backyard football feel back then.
He’s going to use a different and more detailed approach to the 7-on-7 game that has evolved over the last 15 years.
“It’s the day and age that we’re in. With 7-on-7, it really is like AAU basketball. It’s come into exposure, right? Kids are going and playing in these 7-on-7 tournaments and having more opportunities to get exposure for college recruiting. We want to hone in on those kids but also teach them about the game itself,” said Cobb.
“I love the game of football. There are so many intricacies to it. Having now played at the college level and the pro level, I have a different perspective on the game. I just want to pass on the wisdom that I’ve been able to gain.”
Giving back to the Alcoa community has long been in Cobb’s plans.
And now, his new 7-on-7 venture just may shape the next wave of Alcoa athletes.
“I have a love for the people who helped raise me as a kid. I understand now what it means when they say ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ A village raised me. The Alcoa village. Giving back is something I’ve always tried to do. A lot of times, I don’t do it publicly. I don’t put a statement out there. I don’t do it to get a slap on the back,” he said.
“I do it for my love for the people there and the kids there. I’ve had camps there over time. Now that I have kids, my time has kind of shifted a little bit, where I try to put as much into my kids. But, like I said, being able to move back to the home state. Being a couple hours away, I’ll be able to give back a lot more than I have in the past. For me, it’s continuing to pass the torch. I was lucky enough to have some people that cared about me and helped guide me through certain situations that arose in my life, and I just want to be able to do the same.”
— RCUndeniable (@RcUndeniable) November 7, 2022