A two-time FCS All-American is headed to the SEC.
Jabril Cox, a linebacker who won three national championships at North Dakota State, announced Thursday that he will join the defending FBS national champions, LSU.
Cox, a graduate transfer, will be eligible immediately to suit up for Ed Orgeron and the Tigers in 2020.
Cox redshirted his first year on campus at NDSU before emerging as one of the top players in the Missouri Valley Conference. Before long, Cox was one of the top FCS players in the country, accumulating 258 tackles, 32 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, 18 passes defended and six interceptions over three seasons for the Bison.
Now he wants to prove he can play at the highest level of college football and he will get the chance to do so in Baton Rouge.
“One of the goals I set for myself was to play football at the FBS level. By entering the transfer portal, I have the opportunity to explore that dream,” Cox said in a statement when announcing his decision to leave Fargo.
LSU lost all 3 LB starters from national title team
At LSU, the 6-foot-3, 233-pound Cox will play under a coach who knows his talents well: Bo Pelini.
Pelini, after getting fired as head coach at Nebraska, spent the past five seasons at the FCS level as the head coach at Youngstown State. Now he’s the defensive coordinator at LSU. Youngstown State and North Dakota State are both members of the Missouri Valley Conference, so Pelini saw Cox’s skillset up close three times.
In October, a few days before NDSU beat Youngstown 56-17, Pelini told reporters he believed Cox had NFL talent.
“I think he’s an NFL guy,” Pelini said, per The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. “I think he’s really good in coverage. He’s a good open-field tackler. Sometimes I don’t know what the NFL guys look for, but how you’d watch this kid on film and say that you don’t want this kid on your football team — I mean, you don’t know much about football if anybody says that.”
LSU lost all three of its starting linebackers from 2019 — Patrick Queen, K’Lavon Chaisson and Jacob Phillips — to the NFL, so Cox’s presence adds to a group without much starting experience.
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