Former Horn Pigskin Foe Possible ‘Devil’ Linebacker


The time-honored tradition of team building is a big part of the work done by aspiring Sun Devils at Camp Tontozona.

The time-honored tradition of team building is a big part of the work done by aspiring Sun Devils at Camp Tontozona. Photo by Max Foster. |

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Is it possible that a Payson High football fan would root for a former Blue Ridge Yellow Jacket standout who for four years did his best to fold, bend and mutilate his Longhorn opponents?

While it’s not conceivable, it could happen at Camp Tontozona now that Chans Cox has left the friendly confines of Pinetop-Lakeside and is now a member of the Arizona State University football team.

He’ll be among the 100-plus Sun Devils who will conduct preseason training Aug. 12 to 17 at Tontozona.

Longhorn fans will remember Cox as one of the finest linebackers to ever don a Yellow Jacket uniform. He more than once planted his facemask firmly in the numbers of a PHS foe.

At BRHS under coach Paul Moro, Cox raked in about every football honor possible including some on the national scene.

He arrived at ASU in January as the highest rated player in coach Todd Graham’s second recruiting class and a coveted in-state recruit.

He enrolled at ASU a semester early to get a jump-start on his college football career, but suffered an ankle injury that sidelined him most of spring practice.

As good as Cox was at BRHS, he was also injury-plagued there, especially his senior season.

At ASU, Cox is expected to play the “Devil” linebacker position, which is a hybrid slot, reserved for the finest of all-around players.

During the recruiting process, Cox narrowed his choices down to Notre Dame and ASU before settling on the Sun Devils.

He has told the media the decision was a tough one, but Graham was everything he was looking for in a coach and ASU would be everything he wanted in a school.

At ASU and Tontozona, Cox will wear jersey No. 6.

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