Q&A with Chans Cox

No one could ever say that Chans Cox's tenure at ASU has been anything less than challenging thus far. After the redshirt freshman suffered long-term injuries last spring and in fall camp, he is now in a battle to assume one of the most visible duties on the team – Devil backer. Nonetheless, he has been one of the standouts in the first couple of days of spring practice.

DevilsDigest: Chans, two spring practices in the book, do you feel that yourself and the team are still trying to knock off the rust or do you sense that everyone has adjusted pretty quickly to the pace practice?

Cox: "This year, with this year's team, I feel like we've definitely stepped it up. There are still little things that we have to keep working on. It's just spring ball, but we're coming back a lot stronger this year than last year."

DevilsDigest: You're lining up at the Devil backer position as you and other players try to fill in the big shoes Carl Bradford left behind. How has that transition been for you?

Cox: "it's been great. Redshirting last year I was able to learn a lot from Carl Bradford. I was able to learn how quick he was off the ball to make all of those sacks and tackles. That's something that I'm really working on is to get off the ball quick and to be aggressive."

DevilsDigest: This position is one that has made a lot of plays in the last two years. In your opinion, what makes this position so dynamic and what skills are needed to play this role?

Cox: "This is a very aggressive and athletic position. You have to be quick off the ball, like I said, and that's just something that Ami (Vilami Latu) and I, working at that spot, are really working on is to just be aggressive and very fast off the ball."

DevilsDigest: What have you done training wise and technique wise to prepare and assume this role?

Cox: "Grizz (Shawn Griswold), our weight coach is really good at working with us during the offseason. Getting real strong with my shoulder and injuries that I've had in the past. This year I worked really hard to get strong and build on those to be able to make it through the season."

DevilsDigest: It's been a frustrating time for you at ASU dealing with various injuries to your foot and leg. How hard has it been physically and mentally dealing with these setbacks and how has it shaped you to be the player and person you are today?

Cox: "There's nothing I can do about it I'm very blessed to be in this position. And that's all I do is just pray for a healthy season and keep working to get better and hopefully that I'll make it through this year."

DevilsDigest: You were a four-star prospect out of Blue Ridge high school, and one of the best in-state prospects in the 2012 class. Did you feel added pressure to succeed joining the hometown school and how hard has it been dealing with those expectations?

Cox: "I never really paid much close attention to the hype of all that. I remember just getting a call and someone telling me I was a four-star and I had no idea. I play for the name on the front and back of my jersey. That's all I care about is representing my family and this team."

DevilsDigest: On the other hand, how has your family who lives just a few hours away by car helped you deal with the transition to college and the injuries?

Cox: "It's been great, that's one of the reasons why I picked ASU is for them to be able to come down and support me. My dad, mom and sister have always been a huge support system and put me where I am today so it's great to have them close and be able to come down and watch and just hang out with me."

DevilsDigest: This defense has lost nine starters from last year. Have you seen the competition for all the spots in the depth chart be very fierce or is there still a steep learning curve with mostly inexperienced players?

Cox: "It's steep but I think it's like a happy medium we're a great brotherhood and we're all working to be the best at each position. I'd put it more as we're al working to be the best at that position, for each position."

DevilsDigest: The motto of this year's team is "Unfinished Business."For you personally what does that motto mean and what are your goals for 2014?

Cox: "Last year we didn't achieve our goals of national champions or Pac-12 championship champions and this year our goal is to win 11 games and if we don't we didn't have a completed season. That's our unfinished business, to win a national championship and a Pac-12 championship."

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