Carolina Panthers: Rakim Cox pushes through

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Mar 22, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Defensive end Rakim Cox participates in drills during the NFL Veteran Combine at the Arizona Cardinals training facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cox knew he could play in the NFL, so he put everything else to the side, including getting a job, so he could work out.

“The kind of training I was doing, you couldn’t do that with a job.  I was waking up early and working out in the morning, afternoon and at night.  I had money saved from school a little bit, and I took out a loan, had a credit card and was using that to budget wisely.  Food was probably the biggest expense, seeing that I’m a big defensive end.  I was just trying to budget the best that I can with some help from family and friends.”

So earlier this year, Cox had one more shot to make it at the NFL at the inaugural Veterans Combine in Phoenix.  With money tight, well, no money coming in, Cox was wondering how he would get to Phoenix for this shot, possibly his last chance.  Cox found a way to shell out the $580.00 for the physical and application, combined and got some help from his agent, who paid for his flight.  Cox’s motivation was simple

“A lot of my friends I played with in college and guys I played against, watching them on Sundays was tough. But it motivated me more than anything.”

What did Cox do at the combine – he impressed.  His impressive performance got him a spot at the Bears’ minicamp in May.  But, he was not signed by the Bears at the time, which led to the Panthers picking him up and signing him after the rookie minicamp.

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There are a lot of players battling for the defensive end positions, but if Cox continues to impress the way he did Friday night, he is going to make the team.  One thing for sure is that no matter what, Cox will not give up and continually push

“I know what I’m capable of and that I can bring something to the table.  If I do that well enough, I know everything else will take care of itself.  Football is something I love to do.  As long as I’m young and healthy, I will pursue it.  I plan to keep doing it until I can’t play at a high level anymore.”