GREENVILLE, N.C. (BVM) — Nine J.H. Rose High School players have made it to the NFL. One of those players was Derek Cox who saw NFL action for six years.
At a young age, Cox’s dream of playing in the NFL was created after he watched his older brother Travis Cox receive a scholarship from the ECU Pirates. And although Derek may not have known the significance of that yet, Derek became driven to be like his older brother and potentially reach the NFL.
During his four years at Rose, Derek was a two-year letter winner at the running back, defensive back and wide receiver positions. He also played a crucial part on the Rampants special teams. He also had 10 interceptions as a junior and in the state title game during his senior year, he led the team in tackles. Derek also showed off his speed by suiting up for Rose’s baseball and patrolling center field.
While playing for the Tribe, Derek was a two-time all-Colonial Athletics Association (CAA) winner and had nine interceptions during his career. Two of those were returned for touchdowns.
Derek once again made a significant impact on special teams as he returned punts and scored two TDs in that position too. When his career with the Tribe had ended, he had recorded 172 tackles.
Derek entered the 2009 NFL Draft, and the Jacksonville Jaguars selected him in the third round. He became the second-highest drafted player in the school’s history behind Darren Sharper, who was drafted in the second round by the Green Bay Packers.
He saw the field right away in 2009, and in 16 games, he recorded 72 total tackles and four interceptions. His first career interception came against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.
One could see how that year could’ve been the best year of his career. But Derek came close to besting that year in 2012 when he finished with 60 total tackles, four interceptions and one forced fumble.
Derek went on to sign a four-year, $20 million with the San Diego Chargers. However, he’d only play one season there before being released in 2014. Derek wouldn’t see regular-season action in the NFL again.
Derek decided to hang up his cleats in 2015 after being cut by three teams in a span of 15 months. But being cut from NFL teams didn’t stop Derek from having a successful career off the field.
After half a decade in the NFL, Derek decided to get his master’s degree, which has now helped him start his own sports agency.
Nonetheless, one can see he’s on another successful track yet again. And although Derek’s athletic journey may be over the determination that got him to the NFL, there’s no reason to believe Derek can’t succeed at what he’s doing now.
This is an unedited user writing submission. The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Best Version Media or its employees.