Cox, 25, is a native of Plainfield who spent five years in the Marines, including a five-month deployment to Afghanistan. After two years of junior college football at Santa Ana (Calif.), Cox signed with Youngstown State on Wednesday.
Cox spent time in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand training his own troops and foreign forces in two separate deployments. He returned from the second one late in 2010 and wasn’t expected to make the trip to Afghanistan. But volunteers were needed, Cox said, so he shipped off again.
For five months, he was involved in casualty evacuation — or “dustoff” — flying into battlefields and loading the injured on to helicopters.
“They teach everybody the basics like putting in an IV or applying pressure to a wound,” he said. “You just try to help out anyway that you can.”
Now that’s a signing day story. Nate Cox is a 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive end, and with any luck, he’ll dominate at Youngstown State. [Star]