Jabril Cox journey from the Peace Garden to the Bayou

Sports

BATON ROUGE, La. – Jabril Cox began his career at LSU with a pick six. After a dominant run at North Dakota State, the linebacker had his choice of schools to transfer to, but he wasn’t highly recruited out of Raytown South High School after tearing his ACL his junior year.

“It was definitely a difficult situation for him, just with the timing of it and the psyche of it. He didn’t get a lot of love from the big conference. He was a getting a lot of love from FCS,” Raytown South head football coach Nick Adkins said.

“You got a long memory of the ones that turned you down. Even though that might not be that coaching staff there still, you got that chip on your shoulder. That chip on your shoulder is to do well, but you don’t forget. I can’t tell you the number of trips we took to certain schools just to even get noticed,” Jabril’s father James Cox said.

The script flipped when Cox decided to transfer from NDSU. Instead of heaving to look for schools, the Kansas City native had a slew of offers. LSU stood out, not just as a new team, but as a community as well.

“One of the things they did, they kept the communication. They called everyday. We could tell that they were very interested, and they really wanted Jabril,” James added.

“It’s not just calling everyday. It’s like two or three different coaches talking to him, not just for football, but talk about family. That’s how I knew about Coach [Bill] Busch. We know a little something about the island where I’m originally from,” Jabril’s Samoan-American mother Lotu Cox furthered.

Family is important to Jabril. His parents created a close household, and all seven children are athletes who love competing with one another.

“They’ll literally go back and forth and talk about ‘oh I can beat you at this. I can beat you at that,’ and the big thing is them racing each other. We would all go outside, and they would race each other. If someone loses, then that person wants to get them back,” Jabril’s sister Jalila Cox said.

The family now waits to see how Jabril finishes the 2020 season, but his pick six in game one had the Cox family as excited as LSU fans during the play.

“The whole house was excited. We were all excited. We tell Jabril ‘hey, you had one game. It was decent. Forget about it. Go on to the next one,'” James said.

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