For two years, running back David Cobb has been the topic of praise from coaches and teammates of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The former Texas prep star is considered one of the best running backs on the roster with the ball in his hand, constantly making impressive play after impressive play in practice. But none of that has translated to him getting onto the field due to Cobb’s inability to do the little things that running backs have to do at this level, particularly pass blocking. But the junior tailback finally appears ready to commit to those little things and make an impact on the field in 2013.
For all his athletic talents, there was just no place for Cobb on the field for Minnesota the last two years. After rushing for more than 3,000 yards in high school back in Texas, Cobb has rushed for 65 yards on 11 carries in his career, including just one carry for eight yards in 2012. He fell down the depth chart as other backs stepped up, ready to put in the work as a complete back and do the little things that the offense asked of them, rather than just being a talented runner.
Cobb himself recognizes that he was not putting in the work necessary and didn’t come to Minnesota ready to go as a complete players. he told reporters that he “didn’t bring much to the table with pass blocking” over the last two seasons but has rededicated himself to learning those skills he has been lacking in. While he still has plenty of work to do, coaches have been impressed with his work and gave him an extended look with the first team in their last scrimmage.
While Minnesota feels confident at the top of their running back depth chart with returning starter Donnell Kirkwood, there is room for Cobb to find a home in the offensive rotation next season. He will have to prove that he is more than a practice-field all-star who is ready to do the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet if he hopes to find the field in 2013, but could be a valuable weapon for the Gophers to add to their arsenal if he can.