In recent memory, the University of Kentucky‘s football team has not had much to smile about since at least 2007.
The Wildcats have struggled to remain in the hunt for bowl eligibility due to a murderous SEC conference schedule. Kentucky has failed to reach a bowl game since 2009, when they lost in the Music City Bowl to Clemson. After last season’s 2-10 record, head coach Joker Phillips received a pink slip and his eviction notice.
Perhaps one of the few bright spots during that era was the play of Alcoa, Tennessee product Randall Cobb. From 2008 to 2010, he electrified a woeful SEC bottom feeder and gave the Wildcats a leader on the field.
Cobb was named to the SEC All-Freshman team as a quarterback, scoring 11 touchdowns. While he was successful at quarterback, he was way too versatile to be stuck at one position. He was used as wide receiver the rest of his career, along with special assignments at kick returner.
Cobb’s ability was unmatched and his leadership ability made him a great player. This multi-threat talent is a rare find for anyone, let alone for someone playing football at Kentucky during that era. Cobb is still the last player named an All-American in Lexington.
Kentucky fans knew the best kept secret in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Green Bay Packers selected Cobb in the second round with the 64th pick. The dynamic rookie took the league by storm with two touchdowns in his very first game.
He caught at 32-yard reception, and then returned a kickoff an NFL record 108 yards. The record-tying kickoff return was later named the NFL Play of the Year.
The Wildcats have yet to have a player within a shadow of Randall Cobb’s talent, but they are currently recruiting someone who could bring those sweet memories back to Commonwealth Stadium.
North Carolina product Braxton Berrios has been on Kentucky’s radar not long after new head coach Mark Stoops was hired. Berrios is listed and recruited as a wide receiver, but is currently playing his senior season at quarterback. Berrios is two inches shorter than Cobb, and is not the same kind of punt returner.
Berrios is an explosive athlete with a dual-threat ability. He would be a Wes Welker type of player in Kentucky’s new Air Raid offense.
Berrios is not, nor will he have the many abilities of Randall Cobb. In fairness, not a lot of athletes do. However, Berrios could be the closest thing Wildcats fans have seen to Cobb since his departure. While Miami (FL) has been the rumored favorite in his recruitment, a slew of other schools have made offers for his services.
Currently, Berrios is on his way to an official visit to Oregon, and he will make a visit to Miami in September. Kentucky’s lure may come from 2014 QB commit Drew Barker. Berrios and Barker are very communicative on Twitter and attended Nike’s “The Opening” camp together.
“Barker to Berrios for the touchdown!” would be sweet music to Kentucky fans as air raid sirens blare in the background.
Brian Lewis is an SEC Football Writer For RantSports.com. You can add him to your network on Google for more of his work.