NDSU’s Jabril Cox Ready for Challenge of Minor Position Change

Cox is moving from Sam linebacker to Will linebacker for the spring

FARGO, N.D. — Linebacker Jabril Cox stepped into his leadership role a little earlier than most North Dakota State players.

As a redshirt freshman, he led the team in tackles, and he accomplished the same feat last year as a sophomore.

“He’s a special athlete,” head coach Matt Entz said. “He’s a special football player, but he can continue to get better, and we’re going to make sure he does.”

One of the ways Matt Entz is doing that this spring is by challenging the junior.

“My number one job in helping out the defensive guys is that I’m going to make sure Jabril is uncomfortable all spring,” Entz said. “For us to do that, we had to move his position. It got too simple for him a year ago. Part of that was my fault. So he needs to get comfortable being uncomfortable.”

Cox will still play linebacker, but he is moving from Sam to Will.

“Playing Will is a little bit tougher than playing Sam in my estimation, having been a coordinator and linebacker coach,” Entz said. “So, I’m trying to push his skillset to a place where he can really truly help us.”

One of the reasons Will is more difficult than Sam is that there is more in the general scope for the athlete.

“If you know Will, you basically know the whole defense, because you have to know what the line is doing and the people behind you,” Cox said. “But, Sam is the easier position. When I get will down, then I’ll have the whole defense under one for me.”

And getting Cox to buy in to the new role is no problem.

“It’s always good to be uncomfortable, because you can’t stay the same,” he said. “You’re either getting better, or you’re not. Just learning will is another part of my game that I can improve on.”

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