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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Rakim Cox, DE, Villanova

rakimDraft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Rakim Cox, DE, Villanova

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

7 teams: San Jose St. San Diego St. Oklahoma St. Colorado St. Northern Colorado, Prairie View A&M, Villanova. All the other schools were recruiting me for Tight End

Where did you choose and why?

I chose Villanova because they were the first to offer me and I wasn’t sure if I was going to receive offers from the others. I really liked it a lot when I took my official visit there.

What were your goals for your senior year?

Senior year I wanted to win the national championship as well as league champs. Personally, I wanted to attack every game like it was my last and break the sack record at my school and lead the country in sacks.

Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying? Yes, At the

NFLPA game I met with a good amount of scouts. They mostly asked about what system I played in and the different positions I played as well as background information.

At your position, what separates you from the others?

I think I have a great ability to rush the passer, I have a good first step and I use my hands well. Working on my hands was something I focused on a lot in the offseason. Also, throughout my senior year I started to incorporate an inside move, which has made me more of a threat to offensive tackles. I also watch film on the great defensive ends in history to sample off of their game.

Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?

Usually the type of formations a team runs first off. 2nd break down the formations they are mostly using on downs. 3rd look for silent snap and trick plays. 4th, I break down the tackle: how he sets(vertical or horizontal), If he is on his heels or toes it will determine what type of play they are running. Is he a leaner?, how’s his splits, how’s his feet. Watch previous games and see what his weaknesses/ strength are against other players. 

Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?

Ben Ijalana OT- New York Jets –He was a big guy who was strong, I did go against him during my freshman and sophomore year so I was a little inexperienced but he was definitely better than anyone I had played. This past season I would say the left tackle from Towson(Pike) and Delaware (Ladson) were pretty good as well.

If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?

I really like Aldon smith, he’s versatile. He can win around the edge with great hands or he can power offensive tackles back into the QB with a strong stab or bull rush. He’s also strong against the run in creating separation and destroying blocks.

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?

Growing up, I moved around a lot for various reasons. From elementary to high school, I was in a different school every 2-3 years. Everywhere I went I played football and other sports. Sports was my escape, I was very competitive.

What system fits your style of play the best?

In college I played in a 3-3-5 scheme as well as a 4-3. I think I would fit in a 4-3 scheme well. I can get to the passer and control the edge in the run game. We also had packages, in which, I would line up as a 3 tech and rush from the inside as well as line up as a standup end and rush the edge.

What is your biggest strength?

I believe my biggest strength is getting after the passer. I use my hands well and can time up a tackle’s punch, I also have a good first step which is important. In the run game, I think I create separation with my hands in order to find the ball pretty well also.

What is your biggest weakness?

Getting stronger is something that I’ve worked really hard on and I’m starting to turn it into a strength. At the next level, jolting offensive tackles back as well as holding my ground and getting penetration on double teams is going to be important.

If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?

I’m going to report to camp in shape, I’m going to get into my playbook as soon as I can and work to learn it as fast as I can. I am going to learn and execute whatever it is that my position coaches want and expects out of me as well as the special teams coordinator. I am going to earn the trust and respect from my teammates and coaches. I plan on making an immediate impact on special teams and work my way into a role on special teams and the defense. I’m going to keep my body healthy (ice baths, extra stretches, extra treatments). I believe I am a committed player and I am going to do what it takes to be great.

Growing up, who was your role model?

My mother and my sister, they are both strong and hardworking people, they’re the reason why I am where I’m at today. Terrell Davis was as well, after I met him when I was 9. I wanted to go to the NFL.

Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?

Growing up I’ve always been a Bronco fan. All the Bronco greats were my favorite players: Terrell Davis, John Elway, Shannon Sharpe, Rod Smith, Champ Bailey etc. Reggie Bush was also one of my favorite players growing up.

What was the most tragic event that ever happened in your life and how did you overcome it?

My freshman year of college one of my best friends from high school died. I had a lot of support from friends and family and I dedicated my game to him.

If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?

The first person on earth, Michael Jackson, and Reggie White

With your first paycheck what would you buy?

I would buy my mother and sister something nice.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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