UK Football

Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad leaves NFL Combine after discovery of medical problem

What UK’s C.J. Conrad means to Vince Marrow

Kentucky football recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach Vince Marrow talks about senior tight end C.J. Conrad, who will play his final college game when UK takes on Penn State in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019, in Orlando, Fla.
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Kentucky football recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach Vince Marrow talks about senior tight end C.J. Conrad, who will play his final college game when UK takes on Penn State in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019, in Orlando, Fla.

C.J. Conrad’s time at the NFL Combine was cut short because of a medical problem discovered during examinations leading up to his media availability and participation in combine drills on Friday.

The University of Kentucky confirmed a report from Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones that Conrad had left the combine because of a medical condition discovered during his pre-combine physical. Jones tweeted Friday that it was a “heart issue.”

Mike Conrad, C.J.’s father, told the Herald-Leader that the family doesn’t know all the details of Conrad’s condition. C.J. has a follow-up appointment scheduled for Monday in Lexington.

“We’re meeting with the medical staff at UK and at the hospital to look at a second opinion or whatever else needs to be done,” Mike Conrad said. “Obviously his health is first and foremost on all our minds. That’s really pretty much everything we know at this point. They were being very cautious, as they should be.”

C.J. started 42 of the 49 games in which he played for the Wildcats. He ended his career with 1,015 receiving yards on 80 catches with 12 career touchdown receptions, second-most by a tight end in UK history.

He underwent four surgeries while at UK — both shoulders, a foot and a sports hernia — after an injury-free experience at the high school level.

C.J. on Twitter shared a message addressing his condition.

“Today I was told that I would not be able to participate in the NFL Combine due to a heart issue that came up during my physical,” C.J. wrote. “I am headed back to Lexington to receive a second opinion and get more tests done. The goal is to get cleared before March 22 for my pro day. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers. I won’t let this stop me from achieving my dream.”

NFL Combine on TV

Saturday: 10 a.m. (NFL Network), 1 p.m. (ABC-36)

Sunday: 9 a.m. (NFL Network)

Monday: 9 a.m. (NFL Network)

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Josh Moore is a digital sports reporter who specializes in preps coverage. He’s in his fourth year reporting for the Lexington Herald-Leader, where he’s been employed since 2009. Moore graduated with a B.A. in Integrated Strategic Communication and English from the University of Kentucky in 2013.


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