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Analysis on the decision facing Mississippi State DT Fletcher Cox


Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox could be a top prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox could be a top prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft. Photo by: MSU athletics department


Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox declared Monday afternoon after a two-hour Music City Bowl practice he didn't wish to address his upcoming life decision and will focus on preparing for the Dec. 30 contest against Wake Forest (5:40 p.m., ESPN).  


That life decision is simple to describe and going to be difficult for him to make: Either declare for the 2012 National Football League Draft or return to MSU for his final season of college football.  


- MSU coach Dan Mullen said all of the juniors including Cox and cornerback Jonathan Banks will do so or already have filed their evaluation papers with the NFL Draft scouting service to see where they'd be projected to be taken. - http://www.cdispatch.com/sports/article.asp?aid=14292 




- The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog spoke with Bulldogs defensive coordinator Chris Wilson about what he'll try to tell Cox during his decision making process. To answer you question: no, Wilson will not always tell a player to come back to school to benefit him and his defense and told eventual first round defensive tackle Tommie Harris to leave after his junior season when he was the defensive line coach at the University of Oklahoma. The basis of our conversation was Wilson will take all the data he can acquire from NFL scouts and player personnel people to see if Cox is the top-rated junior at his position (either DT or DE because some franchises actually like him at either position). Simply put, if Cox is No.1 at either position, then he's a guaranteed first-round pick and that as Wilson put it "life changing money" for the 21-year-old and his family.  




- CBS Sports scouting database currently has Cox rated as the fifth-best defensive tackle prospect and the third best junior at the position - http://www.cbssports. com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings/TSX/2012_DT - So judging by my conversion with Wilson, the MSU coaching staff will suggest Cox return to Starkville and put himself in a better position for the 2013 draft.  


Cox had 49 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery during the 2011 campaign. 




- However, after the local media asked Cox about the situation Monday, Cox went to his Twitter account - @fcoxx_94 - to give fans a look at what he's potentially thinking about the situation.  


"Most of the people talking come from a wealthy family sorry people but I didn't," Cox tweeted. "Haha and they keep saying stay man I gotta have a family one day and might not ever get this chance again." 




- MSU fans won't have to wait long after the postseason to know of the defensive tackle's decision as the deadline to declare for the 2012 NFL Draft is Jan. 15 which is only two weeks after the Music City Bowl in Nashville against the Demon Deacons. At that position, juniors in the mix for high draft selection is Michigan State's Jerel Worthy and Memphis' Dontari Poe. 




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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