W&M's Derek Cox drafted in NFL's third round
Cox, a four-year starter for the College, was the 73rd overall player selected in the draft, and the second taken overall from the Football Championships Series (FCS). His placement in the third-round makes him the second-highest drafted player in school history, as only former Tribe All-American safety Darren Sharper was selected higher (second round by the Green Bay Packers in 1997).
Cox will seek to join Sharper (New Orleans Saints) and Mike Leach (Arizona Cardinals) as fellow William and Mary alumni on NFL active rosters.
On the field, Cox was one of the league's premier cover corners, as he was a two-time All-Colonial Athletics Association selection (as a junior and senior) and finished his senior season tied for fifth in the CAA with four interceptions and returned a pair of those for touchdowns (at NC State and vs. Northeastern). While opposing quarterbacks often elected to avoid throw-ing to his side of the field, Cox ranked 11th in the league with 0.82 passes defended per game. He also made a significant impact on special teams returning punts, averaging 16.4 yards per return with a pair of touchdowns (89 yards vs. Northeast-ern and 80 yards vs. Richmond). Cox finished his career with 172 tackles and nine interceptions.
Even more impressive, perhaps, was Cox's leaderships off the field, as he was one of just four players in current Tribe Head Coach Jimmye Laycock's 30-year tenure at the College to be selected as a captain for two terms. Cox was also elected as the Student Athletics Advisory Council (SAAC) President for the 2008-09 athletics year and was presented the 2008 Leadership Award by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
The following is Cox's complete career biography.
W&M: By being selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third round of the 2009 NFL draft, Cox became the second-highest NFL draft pick in school history (only Darren Sharper, 2nd Round by Green Bay Packers in 1997 draft was higher) ... Captained Tribe as both junior and senior, making him just the fourth player in Laycock's 29-year tenure to earn the honor twice (with the last being linebacker Mohammed Youssofi in 2001-02) ... Ended his career as a four-year of starter, with 34 starts in 43 appearances ... Athletic, quick cover corner ... Runs well with good closing speed and is a solid open-field tackler with 172 career stops to his credit ... Also was a strong contributor on special teams as a punt returner (has 33 career returns for 332 yards and two TDs) ... Tremendous pro-testing numbers, including a 4.40 time in the 40-yard dash and a 11-plus-foot standing broad jump ... Was presented the 2008 Leadership Award by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority ... Also was elected President of the Student Athletics Advisory Council ... 2008: Cox became a two-time all-conference selection by earning second-team honors ... Led team, and tied for fifth in the CAA, with four interceptions and returned a pair of those for touchdowns (45 yards vs. N.C. State/12 yards vs. Northeastern) ... Cox ranked 11th in the league with 0.82 passes de-fended per game .... Standout special teams performer as a punt returner, averaging 16.4 yards per return with a pair of touchdowns (89 yards vs. Northeastern and 80 yards vs. Richmond) ... Ended year with 43 total tackles (including 33 solo stops) ... 2007: Earned first career All-CAA honors, by being named as a third-team selection ... Served as a team co-captain ... Started all 11 games ... Led the team with three interceptions ... Tied for sixth on the team with 51 tackles ... Was second on team in pass break-ups with five ... Recorded two interceptions for 69 yards, three pass break-ups and six tackles against Towson ... Had a team high eight unassisted tackles against Maine ... Recorded seven tackles on two occasions, against JMU and UMass ... Earned CAA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 1 ... Was third in the CAA with 69 yards off interceptions ... 2006: Emerged as one of the top cover corners in the league in first full season as a starter ... Tied for fifth on the team last season in total tackles (59) and led the squad with 41 solo tackles ... Led the team with nine pass break-ups and added an interception and two fumble recoveries ... Recorded two double-digit tackle games in 2006, including a career-high 14 at Liberty ... Tallied 11 tackles, including eight solo, and broke up two passes at Towson ... Ranked ninth in the A-10 in punt return average (7.8) ... Broke up three passes, recovered a fumble and had a 15-yard punt return in the season-opener at Maryland ... Recovered another fumble and collected two solo tackles against Maine ... Recorded five unassisted tackles and a pass break-up against Hofstra ... Tallied nine total tackles, with five solos, and a pass break-up at UMass ... Returned an interception 25 yards and added four unassisted tackles at Delaware ... 2005: Saw time in 11 games, primarily on special teams early in the season, but eventually earned two starts at corner ... Blocked a punt at VMI and recorded a pass break-up and three solo tackles ... Forced a fumble and had two solo stops against Towson ... Registered first interception and re-turned it 19 yards against JMU ... Started against Delaware and finished with three total tackles ... Again started in finale at Richmond and responded with season-high six tackles ... 2004: Scout team ... J.H. Rose High School: Two-year letterwin-ner at running back, defensive back, wide receiver and kick returner for coach Greg Thomas ... Team won 2003 4A State Championship ... First-Team All-Pitt County at defensive back ... NCpreps.com all-state squad ... Had 10 interceptions as a junior ... Led squad in tackles in state championship game ... Ran five kicks back for touchdowns as a senior ... Also played center field for state championship baseball team ... Activities: President of SAAC (Student Athletic Advisory Council) and member of Ebony Expression Gospel Choir... Personal: Son of Lyman and Claudette Cox ... Brother, Travis Cox, played foot-ball at East Carolina ... Enjoys watching television, water sports and outdoor activities ... Majoring in marketing ... Born Sep-tember 22, 1986 in Greenville, N.C.