Demopolis alum Cobb fitting in with Tuskegee

Larry CobbDemopolis alum Larry Cobb will be in action again Saturday evening as Tuskegee travels to face Albany State University.

A junior wideout for the Golden Tigers, Cobb is looking to build on his past successes as he continues to carve out a role in a traditionally run-heavy offense.

“It’s humbling,” Cobb said of learning to function as a young receiver within the Tuskegee system. “It wasn’t much of a difference coming from Demopolis because we ran the ball a lot.”

Cobb hauled in 20 passes for 312 yards and a touchdown as a redshirt sophomore a season ago, numbers that left him as the team’s second leading receiver on the year.

“I feel like I grew up a lot as far as helping out my teammates,” Cobb said. “When you’re not catching the ball, you’re blocking. And, at Demopolis, we blocked a lot. So it was key.”

Always having taken pride in his blocking ability, Cobb has built many of his 2013 individual goals around that skillset as he looks to contribute to the ground game as much as the aerial attack.

“My goals for this year, four catches or better every game, three flat backs, two crack backs and a W of course,” Cobb said.

Cobb just missed his reception goal last week but did score as Tuskegee downed Alabama A&M 23-7 in a game in which the DHS alum hauled in two passes for 42 yards and a touchdown.

Cobb’s path to the Tuskegee starting lineup was not an easy one as the receiver has battled injuries while trying to work his way up the depth chart. A member of the Demopolis Class of 2010, Cobb began his Tuskegee career as a redshirt.

“My first year, of course, being redshirted. I didn’t travel. My redshirt freshman year, I played, but I didn’t start right away. There was a junior in front of me. But I ended up beating him out for the position. I didn’t get as many balls as I would like, but I got to finally experience college football,” Cobb said. “I’ve gotten a lot stronger. My routes have gotten a lot crisper and I’m a lot faster than I was as well. But the biggest improvement is my overall strength.”

Now Cobb hopes to put those gains to good use as he increases his role in the offense and on the team.

“To contribute more, to match Marquel Gardner,” Cobb said of the expectations placed on him this season. He was our leading receiver. He played big. I just need to match his level. I think they want me to be more of a leader this year as well.”

That productivity and leadership could be key for a Tuskegee team that has abandoned its traditional Turkey Day Classic rivalry with Alabama State in favor of qualifying for the NCAAA Division II playoffs.

The Golden Tigers went 10-2 a season ago and won the SIAC championship but spent the postseason watching two other conference schools compete in the playoffs.

“I just want to win. We’re going into the playoffs for the first time ever in Tuskegee history. And I want to go deep in the playoffs,” Cobb said of his hopes for this season before reflecting on a 2012 team he believes could have made waves in the postseason bracket. “I think Miles went on to play UWA, but I honestly feel like we could have put up a better fight than Miles. I’m not downing Miles or anything, but we beat Miles and we beat Fort Valley and those were the two teams out of our conference that ended up going to the playoffs. I think we would have done tremendously well.”

Tuskegee will play nine of its 12 regular season games on the road this season. The Golden Tigers will not have a home game until they host Stillman Oct. 19.