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Northridge receiver stands out at VTO camp


Northridge wide receiver James Cox (9) runs for a first down in the first half of the Jaguars win over the Bessemer City Tigers on Friday night. (Photo by T.G. Paschal)


Northridge High School wide receiver James Cox was one of the top performers at the VTO Sports Elite 100 camp in Birmingham, and you didn't even need to see him to know that. Just as soon as the 6-foot 190-pound receiver blew past defenders, he let them hear about it.

"It's just too easy," Cox said after juking a defender on an out-route. "It's like taking candy from a baby."

Cox said he is certain in his ability and feels unstoppable every time he sets foot on the field. 



"I just feel confident," Cox said. "I've been watching all of them, and every time I step on the field, I feel like I can dominate anybody. Even if a cornerback is good, I still don't feel like he can check me. That's the mindset you have to play with, or else you aren't going to have success." 



However, there was one matchup that provided a challenge for the talented receiver, Memphis cornerback Darrius Sims



"I'd probably say Darrius Sims (was the toughest)," Cox said. "We've known each other for a while, so he pretty much knows how I run my routes and I know how he covers."



The 5-foot-9 170-pound cornerback played bigger than his size, shutting down receivers during the one-on-one drills. Sims said he enjoys every time he gets to matchup against Cox. 



"James Cox, man we go way back," Sims said. "Every camp we go head to head. He plays hard, I play hard, so we have a good battle-relationship on and off the field."



Just like his talented counterpart, Sims said he takes the field with the knowledge that he is the best. 



"James is a big competitor, same as I," Sims said. "So whoever we go against, big or small, we are going to take them out."



Though he is not the tallest defender, Sims makes up for his lack of height with his physical play-style. Sims showed his strength, bumping receivers of the line and appeared to be one of the strongest athletes at his position.



"I'm not going to say I'm too aggressive, but I play hard," Sims said. "I just give it all I got. My play-style is really bump-and-run. If I get my hands on you, I'm really hard to get off."



While he currently holds five scholarship offers, Sims said he hoped to show off his skills at camp and generate even more attention from colleges.



"I'm hoping to show people my physicality," Sims said. "Also, my technique and my ability to be strong on the line and off the line too."