“I am so proud of Fletcher for the tremendous honor of being a first-round draft pick tonight,” Head Coach Dan Mullen said. “He has worked for everything he has earned and is the epitome of what being a Bulldog is all about.”
A native of Yazoo City, Miss., Cox was a three-year letter winner on the defensive line and aided the Bulldogs to seven wins and a bowl victory during the 2011 campaign. An early entry into this year’s NFL Draft, he was named to both the AP and Coaches’ All-Southeastern Conference teams following his junior season and was a prominent figure on the Mississippi State defense throughout his career.
Cox helped lead the Bulldogs to Egg Bowl victories in each of his three seasons, as well as victories in the 2011 Gator Bowl and the 2012 Music City Bowl. Over the last two seasons, Cox paved the way for the Bulldog defensive front that allowed less than 20 points per game, good enough to finish among the top 25 nationally both years. Cox led the team in 2011 with 14.5 tackles for loss and five sacks.
A prized recruit in high school, Cox burst onto the scene at Mississippi State by receiving Freshman All-Southeastern Conference honors in 2009. He went on to start in 25 games throughout his decorated career with the Bulldogs, racking up 24.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and a school-record five blocked kicks.
Cox is the first defensive lineman chosen from Mississippi State in the first round since Glen Collins was taken by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 26th pick in 1982.
Many more Bulldogs hope to hear their names called as the 2012 NFL Draft continues Friday with the second and third rounds and concludes Saturday with rounds four through seven. For more information on the MSU draft picks, follow the program on Twitter at Twitter.com/MStateFB and like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateFB.
Mississippi State Football Draft Notes:
Ten Bulldog players have been selected in the opening round of the NFL Draft. A breakdown on those selections includes three running backs, three defensive linemen, one wide receiver, one offensive lineman, one linebacker and one defensive back.
Mississippi State has had a player drafted in the first round in back-to-back years for the first time since 1982 and 1983 when Johnie Cooks and (2nd overall) and Glen Collins (26th overall) were chose in the 1982 draft, and Michael Haddix (8th overall) was chosen in the 1983 draft.
A MSU defensive lineman has been drafted in three of the last five years. In all, there have been 18 Bulldog defensive linemen selected in the draft. Cox is the highest MSU player drafted since Michael Haddix was chosen eighth overall by the Eagles in the 1983 NFL Draft.
Under Head Coach Dan Mullen, Mississippi State has had seven players taken in the NFL Draft, including two first-round draft choices. The seven overall and two first-round selections are the most by any university in Mississippi since Mullen arrived in 2009.
Cox became the 15th Bulldog drafted by the Eagles and the first MSU defensive lineman chosen by Philadelphia. He was the first State player selected by the organization since Jamar Chaney was a seventh-round choice in 2009.