Army offer catches Virginia back by surprise

Coleman Fox says he's "thankful" for the Army offer he received this week. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back out of Salem (Va.) High School had five summer offers come his way, but wasn't expecting Army to come but got the pleasant surprise with a call from his recruiter, Jay Bateman.

"Coach Bateman had come by the high school in the spring and told me they really liked me," Fox told "I hadn't talked to him all that much since then so it was a surprised when I heard he wanted to get in touch with me all of a sudden. He stated again how much they thought of me and said they wished they'd have offered me earlier. He mentioned they loved my creativity with the ball in my hands, my ability to run between the tackles or break outside, and how well I catch the ball out of the backfield.

"Army's offer is one I'm going to give a long, hard thought to. My grandfather was in the Air Force. My father thinks very highly of the military academies and so do I. West Point has produced some great men. I'm going to think a lot about taking my life down that road. It's an experience I know I'd benefit from my whole life. Looking at football, I know how well they run the triple option. It's what they're good at doing. I'm looking at going for a late October visit to get to know the coaches, see the campus, and possibly take in a game."

Fox has additional offers from Harvard, Lafayette, Richmond, James Madison, and Old Dominion. He's also getting attention from Virginia Tech where his father, Richard, played fullback from 1985-89.

"I'm looking to go play at a competitive program," he said. "Army, obviously, has a lot of what I'm looking for with great people with vision. Their academics are second to none. My dad has been a big help with football and with recruiting with his experience. In the end, I'm really going to look at the education being offered. Football isn't forever."

Fox has Salem off to a 4-0 with three 100-yard rushing games.

"In my first game I had two touchdowns and 150 yards," Fox said. "The next game, I had two more touchdowns and threw for a score with 150 yards. Game three was a blowout but I had 50 yards on three carries. In our last game I had 101 yards and two touchdowns.

"This year is different because I've taken on a lot more of a leadership role. I'm not just trying to be a better player, but also a better leader. I've gotten a lot faster and bigger. I think last year I was playing at 175-pounds and was about a tenth of an inch shorter. It's made a big difference."

An excellent straight-line speed runner, Fox was clocked at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash at Liberty. He's also an accomplished lacrosse player.

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