C.J. Conrad gets no respect. As soon as the UK tight end left Lexington, The Big Dog found a new favorite pup.
“Justin Rigg is playing at a different level,” said UK tight ends coach Vince Marrow. “Justin right now is playing better than any tight end I had here at this time since I’ve been here, six, seven years. He’s looking really good.”
When Vince made that statement after Kentucky’s tenth practice of the 2019 training camp, reporters did a double take. Mark Stoops’ greatest hype man wasn’t simply blowing smoke;.
“I’m going to be honest with you, Justin is better than C.J. Conrad. He’s more of what you look for in an all-around NFL tight end: 6-6, 260, long wingspan, soft hands, he can block at the point of attack. Justin Rigg is really, really — we’re going to do some good things with him.”
Vince did not intend to take a shot at C.J. He just wants the Big Blue Nation to understand what he gets to work with this year. While fans clamored for Conrad to receive more targets, he wasn’t always open. Marrow believes Rigg and Keaton Upshaw have the essential tools to give them more opportunities to make plays in the passing game. If Eddie Gran gives them an option route on third down, it’s going to be awfully tough to stop UK’s two incredibly talented tight ends.
“When you get a tight end that can run like him and Keaton (Upshaw), it’s a nightmare matchup for a lot of guys.”
One team’s nightmare is a Kentucky Wildcat’s dream, except for Conrad, that is.