Ledford’s Fox set to join Camels
Josh Fox had the goal of playing college football.
He worked hard through the setbacks and pushed himself to improve. Now, Fox, a senior at Ledford, will have that opportunity, as he’s signed with Campbell University to continue playing at the NCAA Division I FCS level.
“I definitely have to look at both angles,” says Fox, the son of Russell and Christy of High Point. “It’s definitely even more of a sacrifice, but it’s going to be worth it. Live the dream as long as you can, right?”
Fox, now a 6-foot-2, 270-pound center, started out playing football when he was in the third grade at Hasty Elementary. Through middle school at Ledford Middle, he grew up mainly playing on the offensive line, but also played a little defense, and it stuck with him.
“You know, when you’re younger, you don’t really know what you want,” he says. “But, honestly, you grow up with these kids and play sports with them and you form a band of brothers. Every year, I questioned myself. But I can’t imagine not playing. …
“I always watched college ball and the NFL when I was younger. And I just thought, ‘Man, it’d be cool to play on TV someday.’ So, in middle school, I got it in my head that I want to pursue this.”
At Ledford, he played a year of J.V. before moving up to varsity. During his three years, in which he helped the team go from 2-9 and winless in the conference his freshman year to 7-5 and finish in a tie for second his senior year, he worked to mold himself into a top-level player.
“Fox is a big, strong young man, and he has tremendous character, tremendous work ethic,” Panthers coach Chris Adams says. “He came in as a young guy, kind of big, overweight with no feet. He knew a little about how to play, but once he got serious about what he wanted to do, got into the weight room, he became a kid who got better and better every year.
“He ended up being an all-conference lineman for us, and we were able to run the ball for a bunch of yards this year. So, he was a leader on the offensive line. We played him on defensive line some, but again he’s just a hard-nosed, great kid, tremendous work ethic, great character, and he’s successful in the classroom.”
Perhaps his biggest setback came as a sophomore when he broke his proximal tibia and missed half the season. It was difficult just being around the team, around the game and not being able to participate. So, when he was healthy again, he was determined to make an impact.
“Just going to practice every day and watching them, going to games and thinking, ‘Man, why can’t I be out there helping my team?’” he says. “So, when I came back, I got on the field and was ready to go. I wasn’t scared of anything – just do my job.”
In looking at schools, Fox, who participated in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in Dallas and has been chosen for the East-West All-Star Game over the summer, looked at a couple other schools like Gardner-Webb.
But he decided to join the Camels of the Pioneer Football League, led by former Carolina Panthers safety Mike Minter as head coach. He’d talked with them several years ago and recently found them again before attending one of their camps over the summer.
“I toured it and went to two or three games,” says Fox, who wants to study exercise science and physiology. “And then I went to the camp, and I just loved everything about it. I loved the atmosphere. It’s big enough where you won’t know everybody, but it’s small enough you’ll have good communication with a lot of people, like your teachers.
“So, I felt like it was good. And the coaches just welcome you. Every game I went to, I met with all the coaches and all the different recruits. Coach Minter is just an awesome figurehead.”