Greener pastures

An NDSU legend begins a new chapter.

John Swanson | The Spectrum
Cox will have plenty of FBS suitors.

NDSU’s Jabril Cox is looking for a new home. The outside linebacker is entering his senior year and has entered the transfer portal.

The Transfer Portal

Despite its name, the Transfer Portal isn’t a capsule on the top floor of Old Main with alien teleportation technology. It is an online tool that speeds up and eases the transfer process. A player can request to be entered into the Transfer Portal at any time, though many schools require athletes to notify their head coaches in advance. Once an athlete’s name is entered, every school that uses the portal can contact that player. All Division I teams are required to use the Transfer Portal, and they must process transfer requests within 48 hours. Entering the portal doesn’t automatically mean that the athlete will transfer, but it’s probable that Cox will transfer for his senior year.

Creating a Market

Cox is one of the FCS’s most celebrated defensive players. He was the MVFC Freshman and Newcomer of the Year in 2017. Since he became a starter, he’s been a focal point on the defense of the past three championship teams. He’s a two-time member of the MVFC first-team and was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. His team-high 57 solo tackles in 2019 was just two shy of the school record. Because the outside linebacker is often the difference between a three-yard run and a ten-yard run, the ability to secure tackles is the most critical attribute an outside linebacker can have. There is no shortage of FBS teams interested in acquiring Cox.

Potential Landing Spots

Jabril Cox has made his goals known; he wants to play at the FBS level and potentially the NFL level. Playing for an FBS school will get him more recognition from scouts. NFL teams often question a player’s dominance when he doesn’t play at the highest college level. Cox is reportedly visiting with the LSU Tigers this week. The Tigers are fresh off an FBS championship and could use some help at linebacker. Cox’s experience in a winning culture won’t be overlooked by recruitment in Baton Rouge. LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron is one of many FBS coaches now following Cox on Twitter. The Tigers’ new defensive coordinator is Bo Pelini, the former head coach at Youngstown State. In an interview with ESPN’s Off The Bench, regarding his relationship with Pelini, Cox said, “Me and him, we have had a great relationship. I have always caught up with him after games. He is just a great coach, overall.”

There has also been some interest from as many as 50 other schools, Cox estimates. These include programs such as Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota and Florida State. It’s possible Cox, a Kansas City native, transfers somewhere closer to home. An obvious landing spot is Kansas State. Former Bison Head Coach and current K-State Head Coach Chris Klieman are well aware of what Cox brings to the table. No matter where he goes, the Bison community and fans will undoubtedly support him in his next step. The large flock of Philadelphia Eagles fans in Fargo reflects the loyalty of NDSU fans to their former players.

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