Cobb invited to draft, Meyer SEC pitcher of the week

Randall Cobb invited to the 2011 NFL draft

When the lights come this Thursday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City for the 2011 NFL draft, a record 25 amateur prospects will be in the green room waiting for their name to be called. Among them will be UK all-American wide receiver Randall Cobb, who is projected to be selected as high in the mid-to-late first round in this year’s draft. The 25 players attending this year’s draft will break the record set at last year’s draft when 17 players were invited to attend.

Cobb will be joined by fellow wide receivers A.J. Green of Georgia and Julio Jones of Alabama, who are widely considered the top two players at the position in this year’s draft. Most draft experts speculate that Cobb will be one of the top five receivers off the board come the weekend, with some rating him as high as third on their receiver rankings.

Along with Cobb and his two fellow receivers will be six other Southeastern Conference players, including former Heisman Trophy winners Alabama running back Mark Ingram and Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. The nine SEC players who will be in attendance for Thursday’s first round in New York is a record for representation by one conference at the draft. An SEC school has won the past five national championships, the past two Heisman Trophies and two of the past four No. 1 overall picks in the NFL draft (Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford in 2009 and LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell in 2007).

Cobb will follow in the footsteps of fellow former UK athletes when if he accepts his invitation to be in Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night. In last year’s NBA draft, five UK basketball players were selected in the first round, three of which were invited to be at the draft (Wall, Cousins and Patterson), and in the recent WNBA draft UK’s Victoria Dunlap was present when she was selected in the first round by the Washington Mystics.

Cobb is the first UK football player invited to the draft since 1999 when quarterback Tim Couch was selected first overall by the Cleveland Browns. He is also projected to be the highest selected UK football player since Couch’s selection.

UK pitcher Alex Meyer named SEC Pitcher of the Week

After his dominating performance on the mound in game one of a three-game series against the Arkansas Razorbacks last weekend, UK starting pitcher Alex Meyer was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week.

Meyer pitched a complete game for the Cats, allowing just three hits and two runs (only one of them earned) with four walks and 10 strikeouts against Arkansas, earning himself the victory. It was Meyer’s league-high third complete game of the season, and his third double-digit strikeout performance of the season as well. Meyer currently ranks first in the SEC in innings pitched and complete games, and second in the conference with 81 strikeouts and an average of 10.17 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

Meyer’s performance helped UK end a 12-game losing streak in conference and was part of the Cats’ first series victory over No. 12 Arkansas in seven years. This Tuesday the UK baseball team will take the field again against in-state rival Louisville, but Meyer likely will not pitch again until the weekend when the team travels to Baton Rouge, La. to take on the LSU Tigers.