Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: KU Football's Taylor Cox, a Veteran, Hopes to Boost Jayhawks

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: KU Football's Taylor Cox, a Veteran, Hopes to Boost Jayhawks

Article excerpt

LAWRENCE -- Remember seeing Taylor Cox anywhere?

Maybe at a stop light driving a Buick. Showing an AARP card for a discount at Cracker Barrel. Hunting for collectables at an antique shop.

Reasonable guesses. Only Cox is not that old. It just seems that way compared to everyone else on the Kansas football roster.

"He's the only guy I'm older than around here," cracked Reggie Mitchell, who coaches KU's running backs.

It was in 2012 that Cox arrived as a junior college transfer and debuted, along with Charlie Weis, in a victory against South Dakota State. Cox rushed for 121 yards and at 5-foot-11, 206 pounds, packed some appealing power to his step.

Now, we barely remember.

A string of defeats that prompted Weis' dismissal last September rarely involved Cox. After finishing with 464 yards in 2012, Cox suffered season-ending injuries -- a torn hamstring in 2013 and an Achilles tendon in '14 -- the past two years.

The rehabilitation process Cox endured was "a totally different deal" each time, he said.

Yet Cox, who will turn 25 next month, is still with the Jayhawks, armed with a medical redshirt and helping groom newcomers for new coach David Beaty.

"Last year was very devastating to me," Cox said. "I worked so hard to get back to that point and then to have another season- ending injury, it was hard. But after a few weeks I changed my mindset. ... I knew I wanted to get back to where I wanted to be."

Caution will be exercised during fall camp, where Cox has been spotted off to the side on a stationary bike.

"We need to get him to the games and get him there as healthy as we can get him," said Beaty, "because he's a guy that can certainly help us if we do that."

Cox is not there yet physically. At least not in Beaty's mind. His experience, however, is invaluable. …

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