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C.J. Conrad stays humble, selfless to the end

C.J. Conrad with his family before Saturday’s game. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky has had a lot of humble football players who never hesitate to put winning above anything else. However, I’m not sure Kentucky has ever had a more humble or selfless player than C.J. Conrad.

For three straight seasons, UK coaches have talked about making him a bigger part of the offense. For three straight years, Kentucky fans have been frustrated that he’s not had the chance to catch more passes. For three straight years, the senior tight end has never complained. Not once.

Maybe it was only fair that he had a touchdown catch among his four receptions for 51 yards in Saturday’s win over Middle Tennessee in his final home game.

“It felt good. I converted my route because Terry (Wilson) rolled out of the pocket.  I put my hand up and, luckily, he saw me,” Conrad said after the game. “I’m thankful that he had the trust in me through that because that’s a dangerous pass and hats off to him for throwing it. I’m glad I made the play.”

Conrad was projected as a possible first-round draft pick going into this season because of his size, speed and blocking. However, his lack of receptions has pushed him down the draft board.

But Conrad was all smiles Saturday after Kentucky won his final home game.

“Amazing feeling. I’m so fortunate to play here at Kentucky. It means a lot to me,” Conrad said. “Coming here our goal as a group of seniors was to change this program. We still have some games left but we feel like we are really headed that direction.

“That just means the world to me. I appreciate the fans, I appreciate the ones who drove (here for the game). I had 70 people come here today, 70 people! It means a ton to me — the support. I just try to go out there and give everything I can to my team and my family and that’s what’s important to me.”

2 comments

  1. CJ is just an incredible person and football player, and we have been blessed to have him on our team and in our university. I can only imagine how he must have felt going through much of the season and getting lip service from coaching staff but not really being targeted that much. We have a very good record on paper and we are a Top 20 team on paper, but we haven’t played to that record the 2nd half of the year and showed that yesterday as MTSU took it to us in most of the game stats. We showed that even more when we traveled to Knoxville last weekend and got thoroughly trounced by a less than average team that got thoroughly trounced by a good Mizzou team yesterday. Stoops says that he knows our 2nd half fall back is because we aren’t hungry and are satisfied with where we are at. Ah Coach….could that be because of lack of motivation, preparation, and coaching by the coaching staff? We had the talent and the team to drive into the playoffs but are now backing in and that just might be the responsibility of the coaching staff, but they will never take accountability for that.

  2. I am very happy for the seniors on their win and having done such a wonder job during their years at UK.
    Guess we will have to wait for the NFL to show us what Conrad can really do. Gran doesn’t seem to have a clue as to what talent he actually has on this team.

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