Cox Motivated to Prove Doubters Wrong

Safety Rodney Cox enjoyed considerable interest during the recruiting season. Nevertheless, one by one, he saw the list of schools that pursued him halt their recruitment. Thus, when Arizona State asked him if he would like to walk-on this year's team, the Cathedral high school standout gladly jumped at the opportunity. DevilsDigest talked to Cox on the heels of an impressive Shrine All-Star game last weekend.

In the Shrine game, Rodney Cox started as a safety for the private schools team and even had touchdown saving tackle. However, playing wide receiver is where he really made his mark, as he scored twice. "One touchdown was a 28-yard fade route," he said. "The other was a 25-yard score. The quarterback threw it short, so I had to adjust and come back to the ball, and beat two DB's." It was during that game that he announced that he'd be walking-on with the Sun Devils.

The 6-0 185 Cox was ranked the 19th best safety in the west by's 2003 pre-season listing. "A lot of schools showed interest," he recalled. "But then most of the schools like Oregon, USC, and UCLA dropped out. Washington said it was about my speed. I run a 4.4, but the coaches didn't think I did. You can see my speed on the tape playing running back and returning kicks. I was Washington State's second choice at safety after Randy Estes. They told me that if he didn't commit, they would give me a scholarship."

National Letter of Intent day came and went without a scholarship offer. Cox realized that he will have to walk-on and had two schools that were willing to give him that opportunity. "Washington and Arizona State wanted me on their team," he noted. " (ASU's) Coach Jackson really wanted me to come up there, and he said that if things worked out I would get a scholarship." The reason he chose the Sun Devils over the Huskies was largely influenced by his mom "My mom doesn't like to fly. So now that I'm at Arizona State she can drive to the games."

Cox didn't visit Tempe officially in the winter, but he did come here a couple of months ago to learn about his future surroundings. "I visited Arizona State unofficially during my spring break," he stated. "I got to see them in spring practice. I really enjoyed the campus. I liked the interaction between the coaches and the players. I sat in on a defensive backs meeting and it was really interesting."

The safety considers himself as a very sound player, and one that has the required skills to play the safety position. "My strong points are my technique – coverage-two or coverage-three," he said. "My speed is up there. I could work more on my hip movement, but it's nothing detrimental. I can play you'll see (smile)."

"I don't want to sound conceded or anything like that," Cox continued. "But I'm confident in my abilities. I don't mind walking-on, opening some eyes, and proving myself. I'm motivated to show all those schools that they made a mistake not offering me a scholarship…that's OK, I'm ready to go to Arizona State and do what I have to do."

The Sun Devil coaches indicated to Cox that they like him as a strong safety. Furthermore, they conveyed to him that not redshirting and gaining a scholarship this year was definitely within reach. "Coaches told me that a lot of players who started as walk-ons ended up getting scholarships and being successful. So they said if I could beat out the starters I'll get a scholarship and not redshirt. I'm just gonna work hard and stay humble." Cox will report with the rest of the team's newcomers on August 6th.

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