Big Safety Has Offers

Last year, West Virginia got two commitiments from a loaded East Jefferson High School in Metairie, Louisiana. The Mountaineers obviously haven't lost their way to the school, as yet another well-regarded prospect from that school has gotten an offer.

Safety Michael Cox, who is one of the taller safeties you'll find, has a great deal of interest in WVU.

"I've gotten offers from West Virginia and Indiana, and Michigan State is close to offering me," the 6-5, 185 pound free safety said. "Those are my top three."

The first thing that stands out about Cox is his size. Safeties are usually in the 6-1 range, but Cox views his height as an advantage.

"It helps me when the ball is in the air," Cox noted. "I can go up and get the ball over a lot of guys. It doesn't bother me on tackling either. I don't have any problem getting low and hitting people."

Hitting is one of Cox's main joys in playing the game, and he likes mixing it up from his free safety spot.

"I'm fast enough to get up near the line, and I like contact. I like to hit people."

Cox began his career at East Jefferson playing wider receiver, but midway through his sophomore year was switched to strong safety. As junior he was moved to free, where he feels the most comfortable. He's also still in the rotation as a backup wide receiver, and plays on all special teams.

While many players are anxious about keeping the ball in their hands, Cox knows that his future lies on defensive end of the field.

"I like defense a lot. I'll play wherever they want me to play, but I enjoy safety. I know I'll have to put a little bit of weight on to play there in college."

Cox might be a bit low on some radar screens after suffering a broken ankle last year, which limited him to a little more than four games of action. Before being injured, however, he had more than 30 tackles, and also recorded 12 solo tackles and two assists in one contest. The ankle is now healed and "not a problem" according to Cox.

Cox is also a track standout, performing on East Jefferson's 4x100 relay team and as a 200 meter dash man and hurdler. He reached the state championships in hurdles last year.

West Virginia might enjoy a bit of advantage after signing standouts James Alford and Fernandez McDowell from East Jefferson last year, and Cox said he has already learned a lot from watching the recruiting process they went through last year.

"I talked with them a lot about it," Cox said. "I saw what to do and what not to do. It would be nice to go somewhere that I know people. West Virginia might be the place for me."

Although his interest in the Mountaineers is high, Cox doesn't have a timetable for a decision. He saw at least one teammate make a hurried decision in the recruiting game that may have hurt him, so he doesn't have a deadline in mind.

"I want to make sure I choose the right college for me; one that I'm comfortable with. If I go on a visit and find somewhere that really feels right, I might commit then. But right now I plan to take several visits."

Cox is impressed with the style of running back coach Calvin Magee, who is making Louisiana into the kind of recruiting ground that Mountianeer fans envisioned Texas might be a year or two ago.

"Caoch Magee, I like him a lot," Cox said. "He cool and he's able to relate to me. He tells me like it is, and he's honest."

Cox attended a camp at Louisiana Tech this summer, but doesn't have any other camping plans. He's getting ready to lead his rebuilding team this fall, where he'll be one of only two returning starters.

"We're going to be very young this year. I'm going to have to be a leader and help the young guys out. I have to make sure they have their minds right and are concentrating on what they need to do."

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