Redshirt freshman Mister Cobble was Kentucky's best defensive lineman in spring practice and slated to be a starter at tackle. His season appeared to be lost when he was ruled academically ineligible before the opener at Louisville. However, thanks to the BBVA Compass Bowl's late kickoff date (Jan. 8), the 6-foot, 321-pound Cobble was able to get his fall-semester grades posted in time to be cleared to play against Pittsburgh.
Question: Now that game day is here, do you feel ready to play?
Answer: I do. There's just so much excitement and nervous energy, but I feel like I'm ready. I'm hungry more than anything, just hungry to finally get to play in a game. It feels like I've been here forever, and I've never actually played.
Q: Coach Joker Phillips has said you'll probably get 20 to 25 plays. How do you feel about that workload?
A: Actually, I feel like I could do a little more, but we've got two seniors (Ricky Lumpkin and Shane McCord) who've earned the right to that playing time. I'm just going to try and get in there and contribute when I can. In a way, 20-25 plays is perfect, because I can go all out on those plays and maybe have a bigger impact on the game.
Q: You were the talk of spring practice, and many people said your absence was a big blow to the defense this season. Do you feel like a lot of eyes will be on you?
A: Oh, yeah. I know a lot of people will be watching me, seeing what I can do, seeing if I'm as good as all the talk. I've just got to get out there and play my game. I'm going to go out there and show people that I'm here to play, and even though it's my first game, I know what I'm doing.
Q: Do you think this game could help set the tone for yourself and the entire defense next season?
A: Definitely. We had our ups and downs this year, but we're looking at this as a fresh start for everybody. This will be my opportunity to show that I can be a guy the defense can count on next year. I'm just thankful to be able to play and have that opportunity, because it can set the tone. And the defense, we've got a new coordinator and a lot of younger guys that we're going to have to count on, so it's big for the entire defense, too."
Q: What would be a good game for you?
A: Obviously, I want to make as many plays as I can, but more than anything I just want to get in there and do my job and help us get a win. I don't have to have a bunch of stats, but if I can make it easier on the rest of the defense, then I feel like I did my job.