ASU lands four-star Blue Ridge linebacker Cox

By Hod Rabino
DevilsDigest.com

Arizona State landed its first big recruit in the 2013 class Wednesday, securing a commitment from highly rated linebacker/fullback Chans Cox from Lakeside’s Blue Ridge High School on Cox’s unofficial visit.

By his own admission, Cox had made the 180-mile trek from his home in Lakeside to Tempe approximately 10 times in the past six months. But Wednesday’s visit had a much different feel to it, as Cox knew in advance that he would be pledging to the ASU staff.

“I didn’t think I was going to commit this early,” Cox said. “But then I really sat down with my family and narrowed it down to Arizona State and Notre Dame, and I liked a lot of the stuff that was going down at ASU. So I was looking forward to committing today.

“They (ASU) are really instilling discipline and character in the program, and that is something that means a whole lot to me. I really love the coaching staff as well and they always impress me when I visit with them. I have visited with Coach Graham a lot, and I really looked forward to coming down and committing to him.”

Cox was accompanied on his visit by both of his parents, his girlfriend, his sister and her boyfriend. The linebacker was aware that his list of visitors likely tipped his hand about his intentions to commit.

“I know the (ASU) coaches were looking forward to this visit,” Cox stated, “and they had a gut feel that I was going to commit on this visit. It was just a crazy atmosphere today, and everybody was excited for me. I waited a little a bit when the visit started and committed about 30, 45 minutes into the visit. I know they had a quarterback commit from Georgia (Joshua Dobbs) today, too, so that was great.

“Last week, after talking to my family, I knew I was going to commit, and we really started making plans to visit the school and come down here for a little vacation. So this visit wasn’t all business — it was some pleasure too.”

Scout.com ranks the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Cox as the nation’s top fullback in the 2013 class, but he’s expected the ‘Devil backer’ position at ASU, which is a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end role.

“I have a really good idea of what I’m coming into,” Cox said of his

future role with ASU. “Some schools wanted me on offense, and in the

beginning I didn’t care where I was going to play. But later on, I knew

that I had the greatest potential at linebacker.”

In a recent evaluation of Cox, the Scout.com recruiting analyst team had this to say about the Blue Ridge star: “Cox stars on both sides of the ball, showing out at both inside linebacker and fullback. On defense, he shows his toughness and excellent football instincts while showing his speed, quickness and high level athleticism at fullback. He’s a tough kid who covers a lot of ground at linebacker and is a natural run stuffer. At fullback he’s quick through the hole with good hands out of the backfield and could easily play on either side of the ball in college.”

Cox collected 61 tackles, rushed for 682 yards and scored 16 touchdowns (13 rushing, three receiving), was named to the All-State team and was voted Defensive Player of the Year in Arizona’s High School’s Division IV, leading the Yellow Jackets to the state championship with a perfect 14-0 mark.

Cox holds offers from most of the Pac-12 schools as well as Arkansas, Boise State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame, among others. As one of the highest-rated in-state recruits in this class, Cox hopes his pledge will pave the way for other elite local prospects to join him in Tempe.

“I will go ahead and start recruiting some of the local players,” Cox said. “I think now a lot of the in-state guys that see me committed will start looking even more at ASU. I’m fired up to start recruiting some of these guys.

“I’m proud to be an in-state guy committing to ASU, and I’m happy that I get to play close to my family and friends and have a great fan base that will always be behind me. It’s going to be a great journey, and I’m excited to take part of it.”

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