Reggie Cobb’s Life and Honors
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Reggie Cobb passed away last Saturday due to a heart attack. He was born on July 7, 1968, in Knoxville, TN and attended Knoxville Central High School, where I attended here in Knoxville. He was a four-year letterman at Central and during his senior year, he rushed for 1,141 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 6.7 yards per carry, returned 13 kickoffs for 305 yards and a touchdown. He was also a member of the track team at Central and won the state long jump title, and placed fifth in the 100-meter dash.
He went on to sign with The University of Tennessee in 1986 and was part of a stellar recruiting class, unfortunately, he had to redshirt his freshman season at Tennessee as Tennessee was already stacked with a loaded backfield. The next season he received valuable playing time with the Vols and made the most of the opportunity, erupting for 138 yards on 25 carries in the Vols’ 23-22 win over Iowa. The 1988 season, Reggie Cobb would battle an ankle injury by missing three games and when he returned it was like he was never gone from the lineup and his production dropped to 547 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 118 carries,126 yards, and three touchdowns on 17 catches. He rushed for a career-high 182 yards against Duke and picked up 113 yards rushing against Ole Miss before leaving the game with an injury. Coming into the 1989 season, he started to find trouble off of the field as another running back by the name of Chuck Webb was starting to emerge, but when he returned they were called the Cobb-Webb.
During Reggie Cobb’s career at Tennessee, he rushed 445 times for 2,360 yards and 26 touchdowns, caught 33 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns, returned 16 kickoffs for 326 yards. His 1,721 all-purpose yards in 1987 remained a school single-season record until broken in 2012. His 17 rushing touchdowns in 1987 remains a school single-season record. His 1,197 rushing yards in 1987 remains the 9th-highest single-season total in school history, and his 2,360 career rushing yards is the school’s 10th-highest career total.
Reggie Cobb was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1990 to play for Ray Perkins and he became an advocate of Cobb’s while he continued to find trouble off of the field. The running back was a second-round draft pick in the 1990 draft and his first NFL was in 1990 in a win over the Detroit Lions, where he rushed for 43 yards and one touchdown. He once again would have another career day against the Lions, where he rushed 100-yards, three touchdowns, which includes a 59-yard touchdown run. Cobb’s greatest NFL season came in 1992, when he played four games with 100 or more yards rushing, and finished the season with 1,171 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. He was not resigned by the Bucs in 1993 and became a free agent before signing with the Green Bay Packers in 1994.
Cobb would finish out his career with stops with the Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the New York Jets. Following his playing career, he gave NFL scouting a try, and he joined the Washington Redskins’ staff as a scout in 2001. He also worked for six years as Tampa Bay’s Southwestern regional scout. Cobb joined the San Francisco 49ers, where he was the team’s Western regional scout, in 2009. He earned honors in 2011 when he was named NFC scout of the year by the Fritz Pollard Alliance.
Reggie Cobb was inducted in the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. Personally, as a graduate of Knoxville Central High School where he attended in Knoxville. He and I had the same high school football coach in Joel Helton. I remember Coach Helton told us stories about Reggie, and I always enjoyed hearing them because I knew he was a Buc, and for many, he always will be.