You have to have a big personality – and plenty of talent - to wear a LOUDMOUTH mouthguard such as the 3D Chrome Grillz. Indianapolis Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox is certainly a player that fits both of those descriptions.
Alie-Cox has a background unique in the world of the NFL where the progression of a player from middle school to high school to college to playing on Sundays is usually a very linear path. Sure, you sometimes get those players that come from the Football Championship Subdivision or lower to become NFL stars, but generally you have to have played college football at the highest level to earn your way onto an NFL team.
Alie-Cox – well – he didn’t play any football in college at all. More than that, the Colts tight end hadn’t played a down of football since his freshmen year of high school before signing a coveted contract with one of the 32 NFL franchises. Alie-Cox was a basketball star transitioning into the league really having no football knowledge and just relying on his pure physical and athletic traits to get a shot at his dream.
Cox is certainly built like an NFL tight end. At 6-foot-6 and 257 pounds, the former Virginia Commonwealth power forward is an impressive specimen. His basketball career at the school was impressive. He led VCU to its first ever Atlantic 10 Conference championship, earning all-tournament team honors in the process. Starting 103 of his 142 games with the school, Alie-Cox finished his career as the Rams’ all-time leader in field goal percentage while totaling 1,092 points to go along with 663 rebounds and 255 blocks. Those rebounds and blocking stats – plus the incredible athleticism of Alie-Cox – were instrumental in his NFL shot ever occurring.
The modern day tight end is more of a wide receiver hybrid than light offensive tackle. Coaches – and quarterbacks – love nothing more than a tight end built like a power forward, a player that can sky in the end zone as a matchup nightmare to make a catch no defender can reach, or who can run a button hook route and box out any defender behind them giving the signal caller an easy completion for a first down. This is the role that Alie-Cox finds himself in with the Colts and it is one that – after an expectedly slow start transitioning back to a sport he hadn’t played in almost a decade – he is coming into his own at performing.
The Colts obviously love the potential of Alie-Cox. The team could easily have given up on him as a project after he suffered a lower leg injury in 2017 and he was released with an injury settlement. Instead, the Colts have doubled down on their investment, signing him back multiple times and eventually promoting Alie-Cox from the practice squad to the main roster. After initially serving time on the PUP list at the start of the 2020 season, Alie-Cox finished the campaign with 31 grabs for 394 yards and a pair of scores. These numbers may look low, but given a few injuries – plus the lack of practice time for a player still learning the game due to the Covid-19 pandemic – they are actually very promising for the future.
Alie-Cox is a player in demand because – unlike many of his peers – he thrives in run blocking situations His sheer size and strength make him a devastating lead blocker and he is just as apt taking a defensive end or a safety out of the play. If Alie-Cox can find a role on a team where he is one of the primary tight ends then his ceiling seems incredibly high. An outstanding blocker with basketball level receiving skills is ultra-rare, so what this space and see Alie-Cox blossom with more regular playing time from 2021 onward.