Editor's note: This is the latest installment of a feature in which the Las Vegas Review-Journal asks 20 questions of a UNLV football player. Today's Q&A is with tailback C.J. Cox, a sophomore from North Garland (Texas) High School.
Cox and the Rebels (3-5) play at No. 8 Texas Christian (7-0) at 1 p.m. PDT Saturday.
1. What do you think about going back to Texas?
I'm very excited. It's a big game for me because all my family's coming.
2. How many are you expecting?
3. Have they been calling?
They've asked me for tickets since July.
4. So the one person you forget, you're in trouble, right?
My dad has extra tickets, and we know some people at TCU.
5. So this is something extra to deal with?
I've got to play good in front of my family, so all the pressure's on me.
6. How often have you been back to Texas?
I go back every holiday that I can and even on the bye week. I've been back probably six times.
7. What's the best thing to do in the Metroplex?
I would have to say it's to go eat down at the West End (in Dallas). I ride the train from Garland down to the West End. Usually, I go to Dick's.
8. Las Vegas or Dallas?
Dallas. Las Vegas is crazy. It's like the total opposite of Dallas because of the desert landscape and stuff like that.
9. What's Garland like?
It's actually a pretty good-sized city. From my house, it's probably, five minutes, 10 minutes in traffic and I'm right in Dallas.
10. Did you grow up going to professional football games?
I did. My dad's a Redskin fan, and he raised me as a Cowboys fan. So how weird is that, right? When I was growing up, he had me in Dallas Cowboys everything from jackets to bed sheets to sleepwear. I like them, but they're kind of getting on my nerves. (Quarterback Tony) Romo (is) killing me.
11. What did your folks think when you signed to come to Las Vegas?
My dad was cool about it. My mom wants to hold onto me forever. She didn't want me to leave, so she was like, "Make sure you call me every day." I talk to them every day, actually. I have to because my mom would be like, "What are you doing right now?" My dad does it, too, but he wants me to get older and be a man.
12. You were a top-rated safety in high school. Did you sign here because you had a chance to play running back?
I wanted to play running back. UNLV offered me (a scholarship) the summer ... going into my senior year.
13. You had some big schools pursuing you, right?
At first, I was looking at Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Nebraska's head coach got fired, Bill Callahan, so I lost that scholarship. So I had Wisconsin and Oklahoma State, and Wisconsin's too far and it's too cold. Oklahoma State is right above (the state line), so that's where I was about to go, and then I came down here.
14. Was it tough to turn down a school like Oklahoma State?
I wasn't really into, "Oh, the logos." I was really into something I enjoy playing every single day. You've got to come here every day from training camp (on). You've got to be playing something you actually like to get through. You can't be like, "Dang, I've got to play this position."
15. How valuable was it to play as an incoming freshman last season?
They said I could play when I got here, so I showed them what I had on the field and they played me. So I was expecting to.
16. With Frank Summers gone, did you think you had a great chance to start this year?
Yeah, I did, actually. But right now I'm in the role of doing whatever it takes to help out the team.
17. How frustrating was that hamstring injury in camp?
Actually, I needed my parents to get through. I was very frustrated by it. But my parents really helped me a lot get through, to stay positive, just wait your turn.
18. Do you think 'what if?'
Always, every day. But I've just got to keep pushing. You've got put that in the back of your mind. You can't do anything about it now.
19. Changing topics, what do you think of the celebration rule?
I think it's crazy. I want to celebrate. I want to jump in the crowd, maybe do the Lambeau Leap. That's like worrying about the wrong thing. Scoring touchdowns is a big celebration.
20. Do you wish there was a college football playoff?
Yes, I do. Some of the teams are ranked so high, I think it's favorites, politics. Sometimes I think people are just trying to keep the money in the big schools. ... If we have a playoff, we'll know who's really, truly No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 at the end.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at email@example.com or 702-387-2914. Read the latest UNLV football updates at lvrj.com/blogs/unlv_sports.