Juan Diego High alum named to college football Freshman All-America list

By Carter Williams

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8 2014 2:10 p.m. MST

New Mexico's Brandon Branch and Dakota Cox tackle Fresno State's Darryl Cash in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Fresno, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

Gary Kazanjian, AP

Juan Diego High alumnus and current New Mexico linebacker Dakota Cox was named to the Football Writers Association of America’s 2013 Freshman All-America team Monday.

“It felt pretty awesome to find out,” Cox said. “To be on the same list as Johnny Manziel in years past and the Heisman winner Jameis Winston, it’s very awesome. I’m humbled by it.”

The Draper native led the Lobos and all Mountain West Conference freshmen with 99 tackles in 2013. He also became the first freshman to lead New Mexico in tackles since 1994.

Cox was one of just four linebackers across the nation named to the list, along with UCLA’s Myles Jack, Oklahoma’s Dominque Alexander and Colorado’s Addison Gillam. Twenty-one true freshmen, including Cox, were named to the list.

Cox said one of his goals before the season started was to make the Freshman All-America list.

“I’m excited that all my hard work paid off,” he said.

Cox compiled 283 total tackles in three years at Juan Diego, including 144 tackles and nine tackles for loss during his senior season in 2012.

Cox said he hopes he can build off his first season, getting better on the field and working hard toward getting a degree off the field.

“I still have a long ways to go but I know I’ll keep getting better,” he said.