As we have talked about through this entire series, walking on to a top-tier program like Florida State is tough. For Randall, it can be considered a process of redeeming himself for some mistakes he made during his short time with the Rambling Wreck. "When I was at Georgia Tech I got caught up in the fun of college and my grades really suffered. I got put on probation and ended up not doing so well. So I decided to go back home to St. Johns River Community College near St. Augustine, FL to work on my grades. I did real well and decided I wanted to play football, so I tried out this past August and made the team," stated Randall.
For many kids growing up in the state of Florida, the dream of playing for the Noles is often the goal for football players. Randall is no exception, saying, "FSU didn't recruit me out of high school. Besides the schools I listed before, I had offers from the military schools and a ton of lower level schools. I was a huge Florida State fan growing up. Playing here is a dream come true for me. It's one of those things you talk about as a kid and now I can say I am living it."
Randall is a kid that meshes well with the style of kid new offensive line coach Rick Trickett is looking for. At 6'3 ½" and 285 pounds, he is a mobile lineman who has the ability to play either guard spot. That versatility is a key aspect why Randall thinks he fits at FSU. "Playing for Coach Trickett is not for everyone. He has weeded out kids that weren't tough enough. Those kids aren't good for the team especially when we are trying to play together as a team. At first I didn't think I was going to make it because I had been out of the loop for 14 months. But I have been getting better and now I'm making the rotation. He is going to play the 5 toughest guys, so I am hoping I will be one of those guys," said Randall. When asked about the abilities of Trickett as a coach, Randall stated, "There is no comparison. He is the toughest and that's what makes him the best. From high school to the All-Star games to Georgia Tech, he is by far the best and I can see why he is considered one of the best. He demands so much and expects so much from us, but he gives us the tools to make that happen. He often says that if we listen to him and do what he says we will be All-Americans. One of my dreams is playing in the pros, and I feel that got a lot closer when I started playing for Trickett. He gives us so much to work with."
With the injuries to Dumaka Atkins, Antwane Greenlee and David Overmeyer, depth has become a bit of a concern. Randall has seen his time in practice increase, and it is something he hopes will turn into playing time during games, "It is hard to say if I am going to play this year. I am in the 3-man rotation right now at guard. Unless something serious happens, I doubt I will see time this year. If it was necessary I think I can go in there and contribute. When I was at Tech I got a little too heavy at 305 pounds and I could feel it in my knees and ankles. I want to stay in that 280-290 range. Physical strength isn't the concern for me, as I am still working on my conditioning from being out so long. But if I get in there I want to make sure I am doing things right. I know the plays, but I want to be able to learn what everyone's job is." Cox continues, "When Overmeyer got hurt they put all of the seniors in there. I was there more as a cautionary thing in case another injury happened. Right now I think I am just more of a guy they can use in practice. I will say that I see myself starting next year. We lose Overmeyer, (Jacky) Claude and (Shannon) Boatman. Between Will Furlong and I we will be battling for the right guard spot. Whoever wins that battle is going to be ready and be able to pass all of the tests."
Academically, Cox says that it has been night-and-day from what he was doing at Georgia Tech. When asked about school and the major he is pursuing, he was pretty enthusiastic in saying, "My classes are excellent. I can honestly say that I am excited going to class now. I learn new things everyday, and I like that. I am majoring in Criminology with the hopes that I go back home to St. Augustine and become a police officer. My goal is to do that for a bit and work for the Secret Service or some other government agency. I think that it is kind of like being an offensive lineman in that we protect the big time guys and get little recognition for it. Protecting the President or a congressman would be cool."
Randall is the typical college kid with bid dreams and goals for his future. If he can remain on the path he is on, there is no reason why he shouldn't be able to achieve those goals. "One of my goals is to earn a scholarship in the spring. I don't know if my parents are cool with paying for school for a period of time, but I want to earn that scholarship. If I am first or second string, I should be able to get it. Reasonably I want to be a graduate in 2010, maybe play some pro ball, or head back home and work on becoming an officer. Right now I don't have a girlfriend or anything, as I am married to Coach Trickett. Maybe when I get settled down in my job I will look for that special someone. Basically, whether it's through football or being a cop, I want to make a name for myself," expressed Randall.
Stay tuned to NoleDigest as we track the progress of Randall and the rest of the Noles throughout the rest of the 2007-2008 football season.