Former Bison LB Cox Transitioning Nicely into SEC
Transferred to LSU after the 2019 season with NDSU
FARGO, N.D. — After the 2019 season, linebacker Jabril Cox, had the opportunity to transfer from North Dakota State to the FBS level, as a grad transfer and took advantage. Landing with the national champion, LSU Tigers.
Now, the former Bison is making an impression with his new squad in Baton Rouge.
Even though Cox has left the NDSU football program, moving on to the SEC, one part of his mentality still translates switching from the Bison green to the Tiger purple and yellow.
“The work ethic. Getting better one percent each day,” Cox said. That’s something I took from NDSU and brought it here. If you’re a hard worker, it’s going a long way and that’s helped me as I came to LSU to help prove myself.”
As a two-time All-American at the FCS level, a lot of focus was put on Cox by other offenses. Now, in the SEC, the biggest challenge is getting use to not being the vocal point of a game plan.
“To slow down and not to really have a whole bunch on my shoulders,” Cox said. “I know at the FCS level, I would always have to worry about them doubling me or go the opposite way of where I’m covering but coming here I know there’s a lot of athletes on the field and they’re not just going to pick on one person so you gotta win your one on ones.”
Head Coach Ed Orgeron has given Cox praise, just by the product produced in practice. Calling Cox the best defense player on the field and going about his craft with extreme focus. Cox says its part of the mindset he brought in when transferring.
“I just felt I had to prove myself coming from a smaller school and going into the SEC,” Cox said. “Its a different ball game. There’s going to be a lot of doubters saying he’s not ready. Going into each day just trying to be the best that I can. That starts in practice. The coaching staff and the players, they’ve helped me a lot helping me progress and becoming the best athlete I can be.”
Cox goes into a familiar defensive scheme with the Tigers, the 4-3, which he ran under head coach Matt Entz at NDSU. Something that helps him find success, filling the void of three linebackers who went to the NFL.
“Pressure was one of our main friends that we loved to bring,” Cox said. “Coach Entz, he was heavy on defense and just bringing the pressure and blitzes. Something that both these squads very much enforce.”
Tigers don’t take the field until September 26th against Mississippi State as the SEC plays an all-conference schedule.
Cox is already racking up the preseason accolades. He’s been named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list for the top linebacker in the nation. The SEC voted him to the all-conference third team and ESPN put him on their All-American team.