University football player makes contributions to fashion world and community
Published: Monday, October 21, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2013 22:10
When you think of a fashion merchandising major, you typically do not think of a 6-foot-1, 235-pound football player. Well, that is our university’s very own junior tight end Ryan Cobb.
Just take a look at his collection of more than 250 shoes, and then maybe you won’t be as surprised by his choice in major.
“The main thing is that I love sneakers,” Cobb says. “I have an obsession with sneakers. I have a whole room full of them, and that’s something that I want to eventually get into.”
Junior teammate Chris Corvino says he thinks the amount of sneakers his high-school counterpart owns is nuts.
“He has his own bedroom in college for shoes,” Corvino says. “He has a two-bedroom apartment, and one bedroom is all shoes.”
Fashion professor Martha Carper says she has had the privilege of having Cobb in her classes for two semesters now.
“This guy came in with a different pair of shoes every day,” Carper says. “He is a shoe fanatic. He sits in the front row, and you can always see his shoes. And he came in with a different pair of athletic shoes, and they were all different kinds of colors with different kinds of materials.”
Carper says fashion is a career a number of other student-athletes participate in. She says she believes it is a great major for them, as they are able to connect their career interest with another passion of theirs via sports.
Cobb says he has always had a passion for fashion, mostly due to his mom.
“My mom was always really big into fashion,” Cobb says. “I’m the youngest of three, and I always got dragged along whenever she wanted to go to the mall and go shopping. But it’s something that I just ended up loving.”
Besides football and fashion, Cobb is also highly involved with community service. With football and school taking up a majority of his time, Cobb says he prefers to do something useful and productive with his small amount of free time.
“Time management is tough because we have a lot on our plates,” Cobb says. “But obviously school comes first and then football, and any free time I have I mean, I can go out, watch TV, lay down, but I’d rather spend it usefully, going out and helping people and making a difference.”
Director of Football Operations Jerry Oravitz is instrumental in organizing community service projects for the team. Ryan says he, along with his fellow teammates, volunteers at numerous places including A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children, the Greater Newark Boys and Girls Club, local youth athletic leagues and UDance.
“We’re very active in the community as a team,” Oravitz says. “And anytime we’ve done something like before I can even get an ask-out to the team, Ryan is asking me, ‘What’s coming up? Is there anything I could do to help?’ He’s just that type of person. A very sincere, genuine, very giving young man.”
Both Oravitz and Corvino agree Cobb is always at the forefront of everything they do. Besides individually volunteering, he also recruits his teammates to be involved and active in the community as well.
“Ryan, he has several passions,” Carper says. “One is football, and the other one is shoes and the fashion industry, but the other one is that he is very involved in community service. It’s great to see a student that is well rounded in all aspects.”
Cobb’s continuous efforts and services to the community got him nominated for the prestigious Allstate AFCA Good Works Team last month. According to the Blue Hens website, “the Good Works Team recognizes the good works of a select group of college football players from across the country.”
Also known as the Heisman Trophy for good deeds, this award is given out to those players who have positively helped out others and given back to their communities.
After transferring from the University of Virginia, Cobb says he saw a player who previously won the award. He says he thought it was really great and something he would like to do, not for the award, but because it was the right thing to do.
Cobb says he is not exactly sure of what he wants to do after graduation. He says he would like to work for companies like Nike or Under Armour, but he says he would be happy to continue playing football.
One thing he says he knows for sure is he would love to stay active in the community.
“There’s really no better feeling than when you help someone, and you see a big smile on their face, especially with a kid,” Cobb says. “It’s like the greatest thing in the world to them. I just start laughing and giggling. It brings a smile to my face helping kids.”