By Mike Moguin
Being successful both in the classroom and on the gridiron can be tough. Jenks’ Will Cox can attest to that.
“It’s for sure something you have to get used to, with watching film all the time, but still keeping up and getting all your school work done,” Cox said. “Most of the teachers at the school are pretty understanding, but they still expect you to get it done. There is no time to slack off. You always have to stay on top of your work because if you’re making bad grades, you can’t play that week.
“School should always be a top priority for everyone on this team. But, you also have to figure out how to keep getting your film in and learning everything on the football side of that too,” he added.
Cox, a 5’10”, 195-pound senior, carries a 3.98 GPA and scored 31 on the ACT. He plays defensive back and running back for the Trojans and has offers from Davidson and Southwestern Oklahoma State.
As a junior in 2018, Cox made 32 solo tackles, 34 assisted and nine pass breakups. On offense, he scored three touchdowns while rushing for 150 yards on 17 carries.
His biggest moments last season came in Jenks’ win against arch-rival Union in the Class 6AI semifinals. He made a pass breakup on third down that was followed by a missed field goal by the Redskins. Cox would later make an end zone interception. With those two plays, he prevented Union from scoring 14 points. The Trojans won that game, 27-24, and went to the state final.
“It was just an awesome feeling when you’ve prepared for that play for the whole season and then you finally make it,” Cox said.
The Trojans came up short in the title game, losing to Broken Arrow. They are motivated by that loss and are determined to finish 2019 on top.
“We’re coming off three straight years where we haven’t won it and our class has never won a championship,” Cox said. “So, we’re taking everything we can from that game, we’re trying to learn and we’re trying to get back there and win one.”
There are new starters in the Trojans’ line-up this year and a new coach on defense in Adam Gaylor, who was previously at Mustang.
“It’s definitely been a process coming in with a new defensive coordinator and learning all new things,” Cox said. “We’re trying to replace all of our starters from last year, but it’s been good.”
Cox likes the fact that football is not an individual sport.
“I like the fact that I have 10 other guys I can lean on if I’m down or anything, they can pick me up and we can still succeed,” he said. “I like the brotherhood and camaraderie it brings.”
As a two-way starter, there is not a part of the team that he doesn’t get to see, Cox adds. “I get to interact with everyone I’ve always liked playing both ways. I like getting the ball and I like taking it away from people.
“As a running back, I just like being able to control everywhere the ball goes. I like being able to create my own path, and then on the defensive side, I like being able to be in command at safety. It’s kind of the quarterback on defense,” Cox said.
Cox believes the Trojans are going to surprise people this year.
“I think there is a lot of expectations that it’s going to be a down, rebuilding year,” he said. “But, I think we’re going to surprise people. As for the toughest opponent, the one that always pops up in my mind is Union. B.A., the defending state champion, will also be out with something to prove.”