By Will Nations/The Daily Times Leader
Wednesday was a hectic day for many football programs around the nation as Junior College [JUCO] players were putting pen to paper in the early signing period.
Justin Cox, an East Mississippi Defensive Back and former Green Wave star, walked into West Point’s Athletic Department wearing a Mississippi State winter cap and a maroon jacket showing everyone where his loyalties were. Without any hesitation, Cox signed again with the Bulldogs and looked very please with his decision.
“It’s like family at Mississippi State,” said Cox about his decision to resign with Mississippi State, “I have a bond with the players and all the coaches.”
Justin, ranked a 4-Star recruit by many recruiting agencies, has been a big target for the Bulldogs ever since Cox was a Senior at West Point. In 2011, Cox signed with Mississippi State but academically did not qualify through the NCAA.
Justin did not let the set back put him down. Cox chose to play for East Mississippi where he had a very successful career playing for the Lions. Not only did Cox pick up a JUCO National Championship and All-American honors, Justin learned valuable lessons on and off the football field.
“JUCO will get you bigger and stronger which is what they have done with me,” said Cox about his experience at East Mississippi, “they also get you ready for college.”
Justin had a fantastic final season for the Lions recording 49 tackles, 6 interceptions, and 4 tackles for loss.
“Justin [Cox] had a great skill set when he left West Point,” said West Point Head Coach Chris Chambless, “Now he has an even stronger skill set after playing down at East Mississippi.”
Cox also finished up his Associates Degree in Liberal Arts at East Mississippi. It only took three semester for Justin to finish the degree showing Cox’s ability to work hard on the field of play and in the classroom.
Wednesday afternoon, Cox was joined by his mother, Paulette Gibson and his brother Kadarius Forside, a current Sophomore football player for West point, who both were very excited for Justin’s decision. Cox chose to be loyal to Mississippi State, the first team that courted Justin, and has also remained loyal to West Point, the high school that put him on the map.
“Justin is a very loyal person,” commented Coach Chambless about Cox, “he is also very caring and a very hard worker.”
Cox should be able to jockey for playing time immediately at Mississippi State as the Bulldogs will be looking to replace Senior Cornerbacks Johnthon Banks and Darius Slay in the secondary.