Well, the Butkus Award is back up for grabs, you guys — J’den Cox isn’t playing football in 2017.
Three-time NCAA wrestling champion and Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox won’t play football for Missouri next season, a source told The Star.
Instead, Cox accepted a position on Thursday as a volunteer assistant with the Tigers wrestling program, and he will continue to compete in international wrestling competitions.
Mizzou Wrestling head coach Brian Smith has named three-time NCAA National Champion J'den Cox (Columbia, Mo.) as the program's volunteer assistant coach, as announced on Thursday. In addition to joining the wrestling staff, Cox will continue to wrestle in international competitions under the Missouri Wrestling Foundation, beginning with the U.S. Freestyle World Team Trials June 9-10, in Lincoln, Neb.
"J'den treats the sport of wrestling with great respect and is an amazing student of the sport," Smith said. "He will be a fantastic coach because of the positivity he brings to the mat and his dedication to helping our program reach its full potential. On the mat, J'den knows the importance of being technical and having the right mindset going into matches, as well as the role nutrition plays toward the success of a wrestler. With recruiting, he's going to be the person I point to when conversing with recruits and say, 'you can accomplish everything J'den did and more while at Mizzou.'"
The move will allow Cox to continue wrestling under the Missouri Wrestling Foundation. His next competition will be on June 10, when the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist takes part in the U.S. Freestyle World Team Trials after earning a bye to the 86 kilogram finals.
Cox had hinted at wanting to play a year of football when he returned from the Olympics last year, and it was a fun thing to think about, a “Charles Harris played basketball!” repetitive storyline for TV broadcasts next fall. Alas. Good luck to J’den all the same.
- Mizzou officially announced the signing of Kassius Robertson on Thursday. Someone’s excited.
Every mizzou fan excitement for next season pic.twitter.com/wTh4m0SGLk— Terrence Phillips (@FloorGeneral03) May 4, 2017
- Barry Odom and his staff have passed out over 200 (known) offers to prospects in 31 different states and the District of Columbia thus far. To no one’s surprise, the most offers have gone out to Texas kids.
- Mizzou Men’s Golf is dancing! The Tigers will take part in the NCAA Tournament as the 5-seed in the College Grove regional in Murfreesboro. This is the Tigers’ seventh tournament under Mark Leroux. The top five teams in each regional will advance to the NCAA championships.
- The weekend’s weather forecast for Columbia is wonderful — 68 today, 72 on Saturday, 74 on Sunday — so maybe head on out to the new softball stadium to check out Mizzou Softball’s last home series of the year against Ole Miss. It’s a rare down year for the Tigers, but they’re still in position to make the NCAA Tournament, and as I discussed with George and Jay on the Closers on Wednesday, there’s just enough talent to make this a pretty dangerous team with the pressure off in a tourney setting.
- Mizzou Volleyball great Carly Kan isn’t done with her playing career just yet. With her eligibility exhausted in Columbia, she became a graduate transfer at Hawaii to play ... beach volleyball. And she’s part of the fifth-seeded Rainbow Wahine squad taking part in the NCAA tournament in Gulf Shores (Ala.) this weekend.
- Catcher Kirsten Mack became the 22nd Mizzou Softball player named to the CoSIDA academic all-district team.
- Mizzou golfer Jessica Yuen was named to the SEC’s all-freshman team.