Thursday night I had the honor in interviewing Chandler Cox from Apopka, Florida. Chandler is a 6′ 2″ 220 lb. fullback rated by Rivals.com as a 5.6 3-star. He is also rated at #3 in the country at his position. Chandler will more than likely be playing the H-back position in college as he has great size, quickness and agility. As proof to his athletic ability, his high school will be playing him at quarterback this year. Chandler and I spoke at length Thursday night and I could tell within minutes that this guy is all about football and will someday be a great leader with whichever team he ends up on. He also let me know that he has family here in Kentucky which you will read more about near the end of the interview.
WBN: Hey Chandler, how are you?
Chandler: I’m good sir how are you?
WBN: Good. So, so far how has the recruiting process been going for you?
Chandler: It’s been going great, I mean uh, I have 16 offers now and I just found out tonight that I got offered from USF and UCF. I have offers from all of the Florida schools now.
WBN: Who are some of the major schools that have offered you so far?
Chandler: Florida, Florida St., Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Ohio St., Nebraska, Miami…
WBN: Have you been on any visits lately?
Chandler: Yeah, I went to Kentucky last weekend and Ohio St., and Tennessee. I did that all last weekend.
WBN: You’re listed as a fullback. Is that the position everyone is recruiting you at and is that what you want to play? Has anyone talked to you about changing positions?
Chandler: Yeah, I play more H-back, I know that I am listed as a fullback but I’m really like an H-back , I catch passes, run the ball, block. I’m playing Quarterback right now for my school.
WBN: Kentucky utilizes the fullback as an H-back, is that where they want you?
Chandler: Yes sir.
WBN: What are you looking for in a program?
Chandler: Just the relationship with the coaches and playing early.
WBN: Is there anybody that stands out to you right now?
Chandler: Right now, it’s like Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky. Let’s see, yeah those five right now and even Oklahoma, Ohio St. and Nebraska.
WBN: So, you’re mainly looking at schools outside of your state, is that a correct assumption?
Chandler: Uh, yes I am, location wouldn’t be a big factor to me.
WBN: You said you visited Kentucky recently. What are your thoughts on their program?
Chandler: I loved it while I was up there. I know their building a brand new facility, with everything. Locker room, Weight room, training room and everything, so I know it’s going to be nice. I loved the coaching staff. I really liked it when I was there so I had a great time.
Who is your recruiting coach from Kentucky?
Chandler: Coach Scott.
WBN: What’s your relationship like with him?
Chandler: We have a good relationship, we talk every week so yeah, it’s pretty good.
WBN: So, do you have any idea when you want to make a decision commit?
Chandler: Umm, I would like to do it during the summer sometime or the beginning of my senior year.
WBN: Do you plan on going to any camps this summer?
Chandler: I’m going to take some more visits this summer but I don’t know if I will do any camps but yeah, I want to do some more visits and hopefully make a decision this summer or the beginning of my senior season.
WBN: What are you looking forward to this year concerning your senior year?
Chandler: Really just this football season, you know, going back to the state championship. Last year we lost it 15-7 and the year before that we won it. So yeah, it’s about going back to it and going on that journey and I’m really just excited about that. I’m excited about watching college football; it’s the best time of the year.
WBN: So, is there anything you are working on that other schools may have told you or just things that you feel will make you a more complete player?
Chandler: Well, they really haven’t told me any of that but I am always just constantly training, working out twice a day, just try to make myself better.
WBN: What are your expectations for yourself and your teammates this year?
Chandler: Really just coming together as a team, we lost our D-line, our safety. We have our whole offense back but yeah, just coming together as a team; a brotherhood and taking that journey together to win a championship.
WBN: Well Chandler, that’s all I have for you today. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me .
Chandler: Yeah, no problem. Also, I forgot to mention that I have a lot of family in Kentucky. In Lexington and Ashland and my great, great uncle, Ellis Johnson was in the Kentucky Hall of Fame. He was a four sport athlete. I believe he played football, basketball, track and field and baseball I believe was the other sport.
I did a little research on Chandler’s uncle, Ellis Johnson. Mr. Johnson played at Kentucky from 1930-1933. He did in fact play all four sports listed above. He was All-Southern Conference in 1931-32 but he hit it big in 1932-33 as he was an All-SEC First Team, All-SEC Tournament and an All-American in basketball.
Mr. Johnson went on to serve in the Navy as a lieutenant. He was inducted into the State of Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1963 and into the University of Kentucky Hall of Fame in 2006.
Mr. Johnson’s accolades are too numerous to list them all but here are a few quick hits;
- In 1933 he became UK basketball coach Adolph Rupp’s first All-American.
- He led the Wildcats to the first of four national championships under Rupp.
- He was one of the few University of Kentucky Wildcats to letter in four sports and the first to do so in the same year.
- He is recognized as one of the most honored athletes in Kentucky history.
- He coached basketball, football, baseball and track and was director of physical education between 1936 and 1953. But he stood out in basketball, coaching nine All-Americans.
- He also coached the men’s basketball team at Marshall University from 1963 to 1969.
- The first person to be inducted to Ashlands Hall of Fame.
This is what Coach Adolph Rupp once said about Ellis:
Ellis Johnson was one of the best, if not the best, all-round athletes I ever coached. If he hadn’t broken a collarbone in the minors, I feel he would have been a fine Major League baseball player. It was quite an accomplishment for him to make All-American for me while earning letters in three other sports here at the university.