Early Influence: Derek Cox

Before training camps kick off, a number of players and some coaches will pay tribute to people who helped them make it to the NFL as part of the AFC South Blog’s summer series: “Early Influence.”

CoxCoxDerek Cox, Jaguars cornerback

“For me the guy who helped me most athletically, be it football, baseball or whatever, it was my older brother, Travis Cox. He was really the reason that I got into sports. He was a better natural athlete than I was. He got a scholarship at East Carolina University back in 2000 and that was the summer of me going into the ninth grade.

“That’s where my desires for football began and I wanted to make something out of myself in terms of football. He was a cornerback as well, in college. He actually had an injury early in his college career, after his redshirt year and that put a damper on the rest of his college career. He stayed on scholarship and got his education, the most important thing. His career never prospered like it would have or could have. Now he’s working as a venture capitalist in Raleigh, N.C.

“I never looked at my brother for words of wisdom. His influence on me was that he was such a good athlete. I always wanted to be like him with regard to his football skills and athletic ability. That was always my drive, wanting to be better than him. I looked up to him, he was my best friend. It was the little-brother, big-brother whole deal. It’s the relationship we had. I just wanted to be like him and as a result I made myself better than him.”