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Prophet
05-21-2006, 11:33 PM
05/21/06 - Posted from the Daily Record newsroom

Par Hills' Cobbs a Viking again after NFL deal
BY JOE HOFMANN
DAILY RECORD
Link (http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060521/SPORTS0830/605210349/1013/SPORTS08)

Once a Viking, always a Viking. Only this time, R.J. Cobbs is now a proud member of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Par Hills graduate signed a three-year, free agent contract and has practiced with the NFL team for the last two weeks.

And now it's time to put up or shut up.

"This is a great thing,"Cobbs said from Vikings headquarters in St. Paul after working out on Friday.

"This is a dream come true, a blessing. But I have to remember I am an NFL player now. I am not living a dream anymore. I have to play like a man."

Cobbs starred at running back and defensive back for coaches Dave Albano and Phil Longo at Par Hills, where he set school records for interceptions in a career (18), single-season rushing yards (1,587 as a junior) and most TDs in a game (six).

He received a scholarship to UMass, where he blossomed even further and immediately made an impact on the college level. Cobbs started at tailback for the Minutemen and was named Rookie of the Year by both the ECAC and the A-10.

"After I got rookie of the year at UMass, I thought the sky was the limit," Cobbs said. "I thought I could play and make it but I had to work at it."

The versatile Cobbs (5-11, 190) started at tailback, cornerback and wide receiver at UMass. He was also a dynamic return man.

The package was enough to have the Vikings, Redskins, Colts and 49ers keep in touch with Cobbs'agent, Eugene Lee, during the weeks leading up to the draft. In the end, Cobbs got the call from the Vikings, who will look to rookie head coach Brad Childress next fall.

"We marketed RJ throughout the winter," said Lee, who works for ETL Associates, a Manhattan-based firm that markets college players. "We sent out a lot of film. It's a very exhaustive process. We sent faxes, e-mails, how he performed at the Boston College pro day and reasons why he'd be a tremendous addition to an NFL team: his versatility and athleticism. Our job while he was training in the winter was to market him to the fullest."

Cobbs saw himself going pro -- but not going to Minnesota.

"I thought I was going to the Redskins," he said. "They said they wouldn't draft me but they'd bring me in. The Vikings called and said they have a deal. I just went where the deal was. I knew I was gonna get something. I just had to be patient and wait. Minnesota already had a deal for me and the Redskins weren't willing to sign me. I went where somebody wanted me, that's all."

From that day forward, no one has been able to wipe the smile off Cobbs' face.

"He dropped me a line and he was pretty pumped up," Albano said. "He is the best pure athlete I have ever coached in my 12 years and it comes as no surprise that he is in the NFL right now. The more I saw him over the summers -- he was getting bigger and bigger and bigger -- he's the real deal. It's amazing what he's been able to do.

"I knew when I had him he was special, but that NFL level you just don't know. I knew he was a once-in-a lifetime kid for me. He had that quality, the distinctive quality, you either have or you don't. And he did. RJ is such a happy-go-lucky kid. I was there when he signed at UMass and that was exciting. I'm sure this is doubly exciting for him."

It is, but Cobbs knows he'd better not get caught up in the excitement -- not with NFL veterans of all shapes and sizes coming at him from all angles.

"I have to keep working hard," he said. "I want to get in and stay in."

Cobbs will continue to attend meetings, lift, and work out with the Vikings until he returns to his Morristown home in June. Before he returns for training camp in July, he intends to work out with former Par Hills teammate Johnnie Morant, now an Oakland Raider. The two will oppose each other for real on August 14, when the Raiders visit the Vikings in an exhibition game scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN.

Until then, Cobbs is absorbing everything he can.

"There is a lot of working out, meetings and individual drills and I'm learning a lot," Cobbs said. "I'm trying to do all the right things. I want to go out and get the job done."

Benet
05-21-2006, 11:40 PM
Good work that man. Hopefully he can become a long-term productive member of the Vikings.

damien927
05-21-2006, 11:42 PM
probably end up on the practice squad, but may contribute at some point.

vike_mike
05-22-2006, 01:12 AM
Is he going to be a tailback or DB? Do we know yet?

Zeus
05-22-2006, 01:19 AM
"Prophet" wrote:

"This is a great thing,"Cobbs said from Vikings headquarters in St. Paul after working out on Friday.

When did the Vikes move to St. Paul?

Stupid reporters.

=Z=

LuckyVike
05-22-2006, 01:33 AM
Good luck kid!

Here's a pic of him.

http://graphics.fansonly.com/photos/schools/umas/galleries/footbl-add-091402/Cobbs2-lg.jpg

Vikes_King
05-22-2006, 03:50 AM
awesomely sweet etcetc

howkings
05-22-2006, 04:55 AM
He's listed as a CB in the ESPN Draft Guide.

Prophet
05-22-2006, 01:59 PM
KFFL
Vikings | Contract update: Cobbs
Sun, 21 May 2006 20:37:51 -0700

Joe Hofmann, of the Daily Record, reports Minnesota Vikings CB R.J. Cobbs signed a three-year contract with the team.