Former Auburn star Cox speaks at QB Club

Published 10:03 pm Monday, September 8, 2008

After a week off, the Selma Quarterback Club resumed with a distinctly pro-Auburn flavor on Monday night at the Carl Morgan Convention Center.

“This is our second kickoff in effect,” said Selma Quarterback Club quarterback W. Forrest Hatfield. “We’re back at the convention center to resume our regular schedule.”

Former Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox spoke to a divided throng of more than 160 Alabama and Auburn fans. His appearance coincided with the club’s annual Father-Daughter/Son meeting, and the kids in attendance took advantage of the opportunity to meet their hero.

Email newsletter signup

Cox spent his early minutes signing footballs and jerseys for a swarm of eager, young fans.

Cox touched on his recruitment, his time at Auburn and his ongoing battle with Myasthenia Gravis — a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that is characterized by fluctuating weakness of the voluntary muscle groups.

Ironically, he grew up an Alabama fan and wanted to follow in the footsteps of fellow Trussville native — and former Alabama quarterback — Jay Barker.

However, the Tide did not offer. He considered offers from Auburn and Florida, but when former Florida coach Steve Spurrier departed for the NFL ranks, he decided on Auburn.

“Mom says everything happens for a reason,” said Cox. “If I had gone to Alabama, I would’ve lost to Auburn six times. It was the best decision I ever made.”

But Cox experienced a hurdle during his freshman year on the Plains. Following a tough practice in which he felt noticeably weak, he and his family took a trip to the Gulf Coast.

He grew more tired, and became so weak that at one point, his right eye would not open.

A doctor in Birmingham diagnosed him with MG. A few months later, Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville told him to take the rest of the semester off to get well and sent him home.

“He gets to know his players and does what’s right for them,” said Cox, who is still battling the disease to this day.

Though he’s no longer under center on autumn Saturdays, Cox is doing quite well for himself. He sells medical supplies for Performance Orthopedic Associates in Birmingham.

The next Selma Quarterback Club is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Monday at the convention center. Former Auburn football coach Pat Dye will be the guest speaker.