Blue Ridge alums face different challenges on ASU football team

Fellow Blue Ridge High School alumni, Chans Cox and Danny Groebner, have faced challenges in their respective paths to playing football at Arizona State.

Cox, who graduated from Blue Ridge a semester early, moved to Tempe in January to get into the groove of campus life.

As the top-recruited linebacker in the state, much is expected from the 6-3, 245-pound freshman. In his first spring practice Cox aggravated a nagging ankle injury that kept him sidelined most of his senior season at Blue Ridge. Although the boot he wore was just a precaution, Cox and head coach Todd Graham, wanted to play it safe. As a result, Cox remained on the sideline in uniform while his team competed in the Spring scrimmage on April 13.

Cox still has his eye on the “Devilbacker” position as he hopes to make a full recovery and play every Saturday this fall.

For Groebner his road to ASU wasn’t as easy. After graduating from Blue Ridge in May of 2012, Danny decided to play baseball at Cochise College in Douglas, Ariz. A decision that didn’t work well for the two sport athlete. He hung up his baseball cleats after just one semester in exchange for football cleats and a plan of walking on the ASU football team.

Cox turned out to be one of Groebner’s biggest cheerleaders and supporters in his decision to walk-on the team. Although Groebner is the Arizona High School Football Division IV scoring record holder, he didn’t get a football scholarship to ASU. Chans spoke so highly of Danny to ASU coaches that they decided to give him his shot as a walk-on.

As a running back and kicker at Blue Ridge, Danny had to learn a new position as a wide receiver this Spring. Groebner also faced physical challenges after discovering an allergic reaction to the Bermuda grass grown on the practice field.

After adapting to medication and getting his breathing right Danny added 15 pounds of muscle and caught the attention of ASU wide-receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander . Groebner caught a pass in the Spring Scrimmage and Graham must have been watching earning a roster spot.

The high school teammates, turned roommates begin their summer workouts in late May. Both guys took different paths, but hope their next step is making an impact on the 2013 ASU football season.