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Vince Marrow: C.J. Conrad one of top five tight ends in the country

C.J. Conrad (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad missed the last three games of last season with a shoulder injury and has had both shoulder and ankle surgery this offseason. Still, assistant coach Vince Marrow has big expectations for the senior tight end during the 2018 season.

Question: Does it surprise you that tight end C.J. Conrad was not happy to leave practice early because he’s been hurt and can only do rehab?
Marrow: “That’s typical. Some kids would be happy they can leave early. But that kid is a competitor. It is crushing him. You can tell he wants to be out there. He will be back 110 percent in June. Justin (Rigg) will be back (from injury) and then we have the young guys coming in this summer. It’s going to be a strong and talented group.”

Question: If Conrad stays healthy, how big a season could he have?
Marrow: “I say it and will say it again, he is one of the top five tight ends in the country and the NFL thinks the same thing just off the way they are ranking him right now. He could catch 40 or 50 balls. He’s catching 20 balls but what people are missing is how good he can block. He can go to the next level and whichever team drafts him, he can catch 30, 40 or 50 balls. He’s that good. When he is all the way healthy, I think he is the best in the SEC.”

Question: Should Conrad’s production go up just through his experience?
Marrow: “If we schemed for it to happen, he could catch 50 balls easy. He does so much. He is valuable in pass protection, the run game. If C.J. went to a school where they just threw the ball a lot, he would catch 60 balls (a year). He’s that good. What he does for us is very important. When we lost him after the Georgia game, it showed. He can do so many things and we scheme things in our offense for him.”

3 comments

  1. UK has to have C. J. healthy for the 2018 campaign. This is his year to show out big time. They need him on the field.

  2. Will Gran be smart enough this year to finally scheme for Conrad?

  3. Gran doesn’t know what a TE is used for except for blocking. When you run a two-man offense 75% of the time, there is no room for another superstar to emerge. If he is truly that good, which I think he could be, Stoops needs to demand the offense include him for more than blocking. Gran has complained every year about the receivers not making plays, not hanging on to the ball, etc, Yet he has one of the best TE’s in the country that doesn’t have those problems and he still does not use him. That is why Petrino always has a good offense; he uses the abilities of each player to create an offense, not an offense that players have to fit in to.

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