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July 4, 2012TUSCALOOSA | You can only fly under the radar for so long until people start to notice. For Northridge High School wide receiver James Cox, that time is now.
Cox has seen his recruitment spike in the last few months, generating offers from Arkansas, Cincinnati, Indiana, Mississippi State, Purdue, Southern Mississippi, Vanderbilt and Louisiana-Lafayette.
Stellar performances at camps and a junior year with 38 catches for 658 yards in a run-first offense will do that for you.
"We've got Bo (Scarbrough) at the running back, so we have to have that X factor out there in the passing game," Northridge coach Mike Smith said. "People can't load up either way."
Cox said he is excited to line up in the same offense as Scarbrough and predicts the duo will cause nightmares for opposing defenses this season.
"It's deadly," Cox said. "Me and him on the same side, I just don't see how you can stop it."
The 6-foot, 184-pound receiver is just as potent without the ball as he is with it. Cox prides himself on the ability to run-block as well as catch passes.
"You've got to be good at something to be a top player," Smith said. "That's one thing I challenged him on. If you are going to be successful in this game on another level, you are going to have to be able to block, to get on the field. That is one thing he has been working on, and he has gotten better."
Despite his success, Cox remains focused as ever on becoming the best receiver he can be.
"I'm just working hard," Cox said. "I'm trying to get better, trying to be a little more physical on certain plays. I watch film a lot."
Cox's strong hands and ability to run clean routes have grabbed the attention of many college coaches. While he has offers from eight schools, Cox said he is still looking to add offers from Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss.
Most important to Cox is his team's success in the upcoming season. As a senior, Cox will look to lead Northridge, as the Jaguars look to build on the first 10-win season in school history.
"We are trying to outdo last year," Cox said. "But at the same time, we have to realize, that was last year and move on. It's a progression thing. We preach to ourselves progression, not perfection. We are just trying to get better every day and win the games we are supposed to win."