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Jeannette grad 'feels great' to be part of Michigan State's Rose Bowl run

| Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 8:55 p.m.
Demetrious Cox is a redshirt freshman at Michigan State University.
Demetrious Cox is a redshirt freshman at Michigan State University.

It was one of the most magical and historic seasons in the illustrious history of Michigan State football. And a local product was right in the middle of it all.

When the 2013 season began, Jeannette High School graduate Demetrious Cox — along with his coaches and teammates at Michigan State — said that he expected to win the Big Ten Conference and play in the Rose Bowl.

Boasting those types of goals is commonplace during football camps, but for Cox and his teammates, it wasn't a pipe dream.

They went out and did exactly what they said they would do.

“It feels great,” said Cox, a redshirt freshman reserve safety.

“The best part about it is, when you have doubters, the people who believe in you stick together and you accomplish your goal.”

Michigan State went 13-1 this season, winning the Big Ten Legends Division during the regular season, beating Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game, then pulling off another upset in the Rose Bowl by beating Stanford 24-20 on Jan. 1.

The Spartans finish the season ranked No. 3 in the nation by the Associated Press.

Cox said the Rose Bowl — one of the most prestigious sporting events in the country — was the highlight.

The former Jayhawk had three tackles, including two solo stops, in the game.

“I can't even explain it,” Cox said of the ambiance at the game.

“It was the best feeling I've ever had in my life. Even after the game, the atmosphere was surreal.”

After redshirting as a true freshman last year, Cox was primarily a special teams player and backup this season.

“I just contribute any way I can,” he said. “When guys went down (with injuries) or on special teams, I was ready step up.”

Cox played in all 14 games this season, collecting six total tackles.

With graduations of several players ahead of him, Cox expects to move up the depth chart next year.

That means, when next season rolls around, fans can expect to hear the name “Demetrious Cox” — and perhaps a little more than that — called more often during games.

Cox has developed the nickname Demetrious “I am Seven” Cox.

How did that come about?

“Well, ‘I am Legend' is one of my favorite movies,” said Cox.

“And I wear No. 7, so it's ‘I am Seven.'”

For now, though, his focus is set squarely on the offseason and preparing for 2015.

“These upcoming couple months, winter conditioning, is the most grueling time of the year,” he said.

“It's straight business. It's great when the fall comes. I'll be ready.”

And with a Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl crown already under his belt, what's the next goal?

“We want to go out and get the national championship and have another great season.”

College career ends for Jordan Hall

Ohio State's season and Jordan Hall's collegiate football career came to an end on Friday when the Buckeyes fell to Clemson 40-35 in the Discover Orange Bowl.

Hall, a fifth-year senior running back, returned one kickoff for 13 yards in the game.

After it appeared for much of the season that the Buckeyes were a national title contender, they finished the season 12-2 overall with two consecutive losses and ranked No. 12.

Clemson finishes its season 11-2.

Hall, a Jeannette High School graduate, finished the season third on the team with 536 rushing yards on 81 carries (a 6.6 yard per carry average) including eight touchdowns.

He also had 12 catches for 53 yards, five kick returns for 122 yards and two punt returns for 10 yards.

Throughout his Ohio State career, Hall had 288 carries for 1,568 yards and 12 touchdowns.

He also had 36 catches for 286 yards and four touchdowns.

On special teams, Hall returned 43 kicks for 1,308 yards, including a touchdown, and 41 punts for 324 yards.

Hall is viewed as a pro prospect and could be selected in April's NFL Draft.

Brian Knavish is a contributing writer.

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