MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – From an outside linebacker at North Dakota State to a spear at West Virginia.
Jasir Cox had quite a few adjustments to make when joined the Mountaineers over the summer, but that’s exactly what he was looking for.
Cox transferred to WVU to prove he can compete at the Power 5 level. Doing so in a new position was an enticing part of the challenge.
“I wanted to play spear at West Virginia. I was optimistic in my decision and wanted to try something new to show scouts and everybody that I am able to be a player who can play anywhere on the field,” Cox said.
He won his third FCS National Championship with NDSU in January before entering the transfer portal in February. He narrowed down his choices in March. Big 12 foes Oklahoma State and Texas were in the mix along with a number of Group of 5 programs, including Louisiana Tech.
Cox visited Morgantown in April and it was a done deal.
“Once I came here, I just knew it was the right fit for me. From the coaches to the players and even the fans. It was all welcoming arms,” he said. “It was a long decision, but I felt West Virginia was the best fit for me once they reached out to me because all the coaching staff showed me I was more than just a player to them.”
The spear position was what intrigued Cox most about Jordan Lesley’s defense at WVU. He spent quite some time researching the position and how it is used.
He knew it was the perfect opportunity to showcase his versatility.
“I would say he is a jack of all trades. You cover the tight ends. You come down and take on the offensive linemen. You have to guard the shiftiest players out there, the slot receivers. A Swiss Army Knife honestly. That’s how I describe the position,” Cox said.
The biggest difference between outside linebacker and spear is the different techniques, according to Cox. Other than that, he just looks at it as playing football.
“I felt spear was good for me because I’m able to go out there and play fast and make plays,” Cox said.“You have to be a savvy player. Not being afraid of another guy out on the field. I would consider my play style as savvy. I’m able to go against the big guys and take on the little guys as well. It just comes in the job description here and we know the responsibility.”
Going against bigger bodies like tight ends is a challenge Cox welcomes. “The bigger they are, the hard they fall,” he said.
Cox came to West Virginia to leave his mark on the program, on and off the field. Being the guy WVU relies on at spear, a position that produced an all-American in Tykee Smith in 2020, is exactly how he plans to do just that.