"I love to put pressure on the QB," stated Fletcher Cox. "But a lot of (defensive) ends will tell you they love to get after the QB. There is more to it than that. You have to be able to contain the QB and contain the runners. If you do not contain, you are just hurting your defense more than that."
If that sounds mighty mature for someone of this age, do not be surprised.
"I have also played offense (OG) my whole life. I use what I am taught on offense and use that knowledge on defense. I have been starting at offensive guard since 9th grade, and I went in and out on defense until the middle of my 10th grade year."
The 6' 4", 230 pound rush end had a huge season as a junior as he collected 103 tackles, 11 sacks, and 2 interceptions. He was named 2nd Team All-State (Class 4A) and was named the 2007 Delta Touchdown Defensive Line of the Year.
"There are several things I want to get better at in the offseason, like hitting the weights harder (300 bench/375 squat), just getting stronger in general and working on my techniques. I am still pretty raw on defense because I have only been playing it for a year and half. I have a lot of room for improvement."
Improvements are always necessary, but there is also another huge goal on Fletcher's mind.
"I want to make the 2008 Dandy Dozen team and play in the Army All-American game. Those two things have always been a dream of mine. I want to represent my state and community."
How is recruiting coming along?
"Great. Mississippi State, USM, Alabama, Ole Miss, Alcorn State, and I spoke to Coach Hopson at Michigan the other day. That was the first time they have called. He said he was going to be recruiting me and wanted me to come up to their camp."
Any scholarship offers?
Miss was the first school to offer me, and then I got two more on the same day.
USM and MSU both offered me like on the same day. Alcorn State has also offered."
How did Cox receive the offers?
"Coach Fedora talked to me on the phone. I went to MSU this past Saturday. And I talked to Alcorn State when he met me at school. I also spoke to Ole Miss when Coach Hughes was there, but now he is at USM. They (Ole Miss) offered me in the middle of my junior season."
How did the MSU visit go?
"We just went down there, and Coach Croom talked to me and about 14 other guys. He just told us about our academics and how everything works. He said they were building a new field house for athletes and it was going to have a new cafeteria and gym in it. Coach Croom told me how good I am and how badly they needed me. He told me to keep my grades up and do not let them drop."
What does Cox know about Ole Miss?
"Not too much, to be honest. I do not know anything about Ole Miss. I have not heard from them since they offered. They send me letters, but their recruiting coach has not come to see me like MSU's. Coach Cheeze from MSU talked to me on the phone, and he gave me his cell number so I can keep in touch. They can not call us until May, so we have to call them until then. That is the only coach that I talk to because nobody else has given me their cell number. Alabama left a message with my coach, but I never got to talk to him, and USM talks to my coach too, but I have not gotten in touch with him either."
Any Jr Days on tap?
"I am going to MSU this weekend and Southern Mississippi next weekend."
When it comes decision time, what will be the main factors?
"I want to go to a school with a good record that goes to bowl games every year. I do not want to go somewhere where they win this year and not the next. I want to win every year."
Fletcher reports a 2.8 GPA and has yet to take the ACT test.