Stony Brook wide receiver Adrian Coxson may not have become the first Seawolf ever to be selected in the NFL Draft, but immediately following the final pick, Coxson signed a contract with the Green Bay Packers, confirming it over the phone.
“It feels good man, this is what I’ve been working for, my goal,” Coxson said. “[It’s] finally coming true.”
Coxson began his journey at the University of Florida. The four-star recruit, who was touted as one of the top student-athletes at his position in the entire country, decommitted from Penn State University to become a Gator.
When his father started suffering from diabetes and lost his vision, the Baltimore native transferred to the University of Maryland to be closer to his family. His father has since passed, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Everything Coxson has accomplished, from his performance throughout his career to the work he has done since the end of the season in preparation of the draft, have all been for his family.
“It means everything to them,” Coxson said. “I think they might be more excited than me.”
After sitting out for a season due to NCAA regulations, Coxson saw limited playing time for the Terrapins, catching four passes for 90 yards, including a touchdown. He then decided to transfer to Stony Brook in hopes of seeing more passes.
In the span of only a couple of years, the City College alumnus, a sure-fire college star, went from a breeding ground for NFL players in Gainesville to a run-heavy offense under Head Coach Chuck Priore at Stony Brook. It may not have been easy to move from a team two years removed from a National Championship to a Football Championship Subdivision squad with few interests in highlighting the passing game, but Coxson let his performance on the field do the talking.
Scoring six touchdowns this past season, the speedy wideout did not necessarily open eyes with the statistics he piled up. But, he took advantage of his touches when he got them. Three of the six times he scored were on plays of 61 yards or more, with the longest being an 83-yard score against William & Mary.
Even more impressive was that his biggest plays were not when a Seawolves quarterback threw the football over the top of the defense, but rather when they dumped the ball off and let him do the work. The touchdown against the Tribe was on a designed screen, where Coxson eluded his defender and utilized his speed to distance himself from everybody chasing him to bring it into the endzone.
It is that speed that attracted plenty of attention from NFL teams, as the 22-year-old put on a show at Pro Day on April 1, running unofficial 40-yard dash times of 4.33 and 4.42 seconds, respectively, with the latter clocked by others at the finish at 4.28 seconds.
He has credited much of his physical improvement since the end of the season to working with former Super Bowl champion Qadry Ismail.
“It has been a fun couple of months and he has worked incredibly hard,” Ismail said about Coxson signing with the Packers. “I am out of this world happy for him.”
By signing with the Packers, Coxson joins Aaron Rodgers, who many say is the best quarterback in the NFL, and one of the most potent offenses in the league.
“He’s going to strongly be on that team,” Ismail said. “It would shock me if he is not, period. He has so much more upside than people are realizing.”
The third team All-CAA pick had since visited with multiple NFL teams, including the New York Jets, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins, before signing with the Packers.
After traveling off the beaten path, Coxson finally reached the place he has sought for so long, where he hopes to now start a new journey in the NFL. If he had to do it again, there is no question about the way he would want it to go.
“I’d rather it be the exact way that it is now,” Coxson said. “I’ve been through a lot of things and apparently they happen for a reason. I’m just blessed for the opportunity.”
Tight end Will Tye, a second team All-CAA selection this past season, was invited to rookie camp by the Kansas City Chiefs just after the end of the draft as well, according to his agent.
In his two seasons as a Seawolf after transferring from Florida State University, Tye caught 79 passes for 1,015 yards.
According to his agent, Tye still has the option to sign a contract with another team if one is offered.
As of now, the only other Stony Brook alumnus who is in the NFL is former Seawolves offensive lineman Michael Bamiro, who plays for the New York Giants.