By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Canaan Cox's desire to be an Iowa football player is so strong that he recently moved from North Carolina to Iowa in hopes of getting a scholarship offer from his dream school.
The 5-foot-7, 165-pound running back is confident his decision to move to the town of Remsen in northwest Iowa will pay dividends.
"My biggest dream right now is getting an offer from Iowa," Cox said Saturday. "I made the move because I have family up here and I know that I will be a million times more focused here than I will be in North Carolina. I want to be a Hawkeye and I believe that I will be."
In addition to having family in northwest Iowa, Cox also wants to limit his distractions off the field.
"I think (the chances of getting an offer are) bettter than if I was in North Carolina," said Cox, who attends St. Mary's High School in Remsen, which plays eight-man football. "And moving here was not just solely a move for football. I needed to get away from the distractions that enclosed me in North Carolina. And now I'm more focused than ever on preparing my mind and body for next season."
Cox is coming off a junior season at Christian High School in Statesville, N.C., in which he rushed for 2,343 yards, scored 37 touchdowns and averaged 9.6 yards per carry.
Cox seems ready to commit to Iowa on the spot should a scholarship offer come his way.
"Without a doubt I would commit as soon as I received the offer," Cox said. "I would not hesitate. Their coaching staff and facilities are some of the best in the country and playing with that offensive line would be a dream come true. Nothing could persuade me not to commit to Iowa."
However, if Iowa doesn't offer Cox a scholarship, he might look elsewhere instead of pursuing the option of being a walk-on.
"In that case, I might not (walk on)," Cox said. "I want to play football for Iowa more than anything, but I would more than likely accept another offer if I had to walk on. Looking past football, I'm striving for a full ride to a school, so I can be financially stable out of college with no debt."
Cox missed most of his freshman and sophomore seasons because of injuries and hasn't had much of a chance to prove himself on the field. But he feels he could be successful at Iowa if given the opportunity.
Cox has been in contact with the Iowa coaches and also attended an Iowa game last season at Kinnick Stadium.
He understands that his size is a concern, but Cox feels he has enough physical talent to compenstae for that.
"I need to prove to them that I am the best running back in Iowa in the 2018 class," Cox said. I work too hard and spend too many hours in the gym and on agility to not believe that I am the best. I think my size is the only thing that scares Iowa.
"But right now I am 165 pound and I'm on track to being over 170 pounds by next season. My 40 time has improved and I have a 40-inch vertical. I can produce for Iowa."