As we prepare for the 2013 football season, we’re taking a look at the best returning HBCU players at each position. Today, we check out the top defensive backs in the SWAC. Tomorrow, the CIAA.
Qua Cox, Jackson State
Simply put, Cox isn’t just the best cornerback in the SWAC, he’s one of the better ones in FCS football. Cox picked off five passes in just seven games during his junior season, helping Jackson State return to the SWAC Championship Game. He has picked off ten passes in his three seasons at JSU and was listed as one of the best HBCU prospects by NFL scout and NFL Draft Zone writer Damond Talbot. Cox looks to be the best cornerback prospect to come out of an HBCU since Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left Tennessee State as a first-round draft pick in 2008.
I can’t wait for football season, I want to see Qua Cox go off, it’s time to play football now, Jackson State will be tough this year
— Damond Talbot(@drocksthaparty) June 5, 2013
Ryan Shaw, UAPB
Like Cox, Shaw is a legit NFL pro prospect. Shaw started the season on the College Football Performance Awards watch list and didn’t disappoint, as he helped Arkansas-Pine Bluff capture the 2012 SWAC Championship. Shaw finished with 62 tackles, and broke up a league-leading 14 passes, including one interception en route to being named first team All-SWAC as a junior.
Cameron Loeffler, Jackson State
Though he plays in the shadow of the league’s premier defensive back, Loeffler is a standout player in his own right. Loeffler entered Jackson State as a JUCO transfer last summer and made an immediate impact, leading the team with 84 tackles, including 16 for loss, and adding 4.5 sacks as a free safety. Cox can take chances going for the ball knowing that Loeffler has his back.
Kevin Eugene, Mississippi Valley State
Like Loeffler, Eugene was a JUCO transfer that left his mark during his first season in the SWAC. Eugene broke up eight passes, including four interceptions, helping Mississippi Valley State finish second in the SWAC in pass defense. He saved his best performance for the season finale against Texas Southern, where he finished with four tackles, two interceptions and a 100 yard fumble recovery.
LeTevin Wilcox, Texas Southern
Texas Southern finished near the bottom of SWAC defenses against the pass, but it could have been much worse without Wilcox. The redshirt sophomore was the definition of a complete corner, finishing with 54 tackles while picking off three passes. Don’t be surprised if this Bay City, TX native finds his way onto the All-SWAC team this fall.