Photo courtesy of Canaan Cox
By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Many young Iowans grow up hoping to play football for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Some outside of the state of Iowa have the same dream, including 2018 North Carolina running back Canaan Cox.
The 5-foot-8, 170-pound Cox has ties to Iowa and shares the same distaste for Nebraska as die-hard Iowa fans.
Cox got to witness the border rivalry first-hand during his first visit to Iowa this past Friday. He watched with great satisfaction as Iowa pounded the Cornhuskers 40-10 in the regular-season finale at Kinnick Stadium.
"My mom's family and extended family all originate from the Kingsley area," Cox said Monday. "So a lot of my family lives in Iowa and are huge Hawkeye fans. It was amazing. Not just seeing Nebraska be destroyed by Iowa, but having the opportunity to tour those facilities was great.
"And Iowa, by far, has the best fans in the country. Those people really love the Hawkeyes. It was also really good seeing how much they run the ball. I would love to play on that offense."
Much like Iowa's running back tandem of LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley, Cox stuffed the stat sheet as a junior this past season, compiling 37 touchdowns and 2,300 rushing yards.
Cox still is waiting for his first scholarship offer and hopes it will come from Iowa.
Daniels already has rushed for over 1,000 yards this season and Wadley is just 34 yards shy from matching him heading into a bowl game. The success of Wadley and Daniels is especially attractive to Cox.
"I've always been a fan of their run game especially," Cox said. "They are going to finish the season with two 1,000-yard rushers and the size on the offensive line is very impressive. So as a running back you can see why that is so appealing to me. Also, their facilities are the best of any college i have seen. And hearing (strength and conditioning Chris) Coach Doyle talk really impressed me on how committed and dedicated the players have to be
"An offer from Iowa would really be the best thing to happen to me. Knowing that I put in the work to get to where I'm at today and seeing Iowa take notice and offer me would a very special thing. No doubt in my mind that I would commit to Iowa asap if they offered me. You cant get any better than Iowa. Im in love with the school"
Cox was slowed by hip injury during his sophomore year and had personal issues his freshman year.
He hopes his breakout junior season gets the attention of the Iowa coaches.
"This is my first year of playing good football," Cox said. "I did not play football my freshman year due to some insecurities I had to deal with. Then a hip injury sidelined me for the whole 2015 season. This is my first full season, so I'm waiting to see where that gets me. I'm hoping (my statistics as a junior) are enough to catch Iowa's attention."