Aug. 17, 2002
Each day of football practice from August 7-August 23, two Aggie football players will be featured in press releases and on the USU website at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Jeff Crosbie QB, 6-4, 200, Sr., Hyrum, Utah (Mountain Crest HS)
If Jeff Crosbie has learned one thing in his football career at Utah State, it might be patience.
As a freshman quarterback in 1998, Crosbie waited patiently on the sideline for the first six games of the season. His chance to play came in the second half of the Idaho game and he responded by hitting nine-of-28 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He instantly became the starter and threw for 1,111 yards in five games.
His career was sailing along as he started all 11 games his sophomore year throwing for 2,007 yards and 10 touchdowns. Expectations were high for his junior year in 2000 and he started the first two games, but a thumb injury forced him to the sideline for the rest of the year. That is when Jose Fuentes took over the position and after 17 starting 17 consecutive games, Crosbie has not returned to the starting role.
"It is tough from going to the starter to now, where you aren't sure where you fit in, but as a quarterback that is expected because there is only going to be one quarterback on the field at a time," Crosbie said. "You are always one play away from going into the game, so you have to be ready.
"You prepare yourself the same (as a starter), but it is a waiting game," Crosbie said. "You kind of hang around and see what happens."
With 3,315 career passing yards, but just 17 last season, Crosbie is 18th in the country among active passers for career yards, but is now biding his time on the sidelines. While he would rather be playing, Crosbie is still positive.
"I don't have any regrets," Crosbie said of his USU situation. "Growing up as a kid I was an Aggie and always have been. When Utah State offered me a scholarship, I was excited. I had other places that were looking at me, but they never crossed my mind. I always wanted to go here."
In addition to meeting his wife Amy, a former USU volleyball standout, Crosbie has succeeded off the field. He is a leader for not only the football team, but all of USU's student-athletes. He is heavily involved with many programs that assist student-athletes.
"Utah State has great programs with their student-athlete services," Crosbie explained. "SAMs (Students As Mentors) is a good experience and I am the president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. I am the Big West representative for the NCAA and I go to the national meetings. It is fun to go to Indianapolis and meet with the NCAA and see how things work from the inside."
It would also be fun to be inside the sidelines.
* * * * *
Travis Cox QB, 6-2, 204, So., Hyrum, Utah (Mountain Crest HS)
As the son of a former Utah State football player, who also was a high school football coach, Travis Cox was probably meant to be a football player. Cox, a sophomore quarterback says he "grew up with football since birth."
His father Dan was a highly successful coach at Mountain Crest and coached Travis through high school.
"We would always go play in the backyard with my brother and he would throw balls to us," Travis said of his childhood. "He didn't push us. I always wanted to play."
As a son of a coach, Cox still gets advice from his father.
"We don't go over Xs and Os because he doesn't know our plays," Cox said. "He is more involved in the mental part. If I have a good day, but more if I have a bad day, he knows how to pick me up and what to say. When I have a good day, he knows what to say so I don't get too high on myself."
And like his father, who was a tailback for the Aggies in the late 1970s and who had to play behind All-American Louie Giammona before leading the team in rushing as a senior in 1976, Travis is playing behind the talented Jose Fuentes again this year.
"It is hard sometimes, because you are going and going and going and you wonder if you are ever going to see the field," Cox said of his backup role. "It has been so long since I played consistently. You prepare like you are the starter, so it is hard, but you have to keep your head up, because in one play you could be in the game."
And growing up in Cache Valley, Cox grew up an Aggie fan and dreamed of the day when he could wear the Aggie blue.
"I always thought about it, because I have always come to the games," Cox said. "My biggest motivation is to come here and do something to make this a winning program. It drives me to pick up the program and be the top in the state."
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