Feb. 2, 2013
Carr, a native of Lomita, Calif., met Cox on his first day at the University of Tennessee.
"I met him my first day on campus," Carr said. "I watched him snap, walked up and introduced myself to him. Right off the bat, he was a nice guy. I felt an immediate respect for him. I could tell he was extremely good and somebody that I'd want to learn under."
Cox, a native of Collierville, Tenn., a Memphis suburb, was a fifth-year senior when the pair met. The two instantly shared some common ground: Walk-on deep-snappers at the University of Tennessee. While some hazing is expected between seniors and freshmen, Cox said he spent more time teaching Carr than teasing.
"As a snapper, I helped mentor him when I was a senior there," Cox said. "He has respect for me and I have respect for him. Just being able to bounce ideas off of him and be encouraging for him."
Carr indicated that playing the same position and learning Cox's tutelage helped grow their friendship.
"He kind of started to take me under his wing as the season went on," Carr said. "He started showing me a lot and I built up a huge respect for him. Not only as a player, but as a person, because we do play the same position, and he was helping me out so much."
Carr said he knew Cox was more of a true friend than just a mentor, when he joined Cox's family for Christmas in 2009. The Tennessee football team's break was shortened because of preparation for the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and Carr was struggling to find travel arrangements back to California. The Cox family welcomed him with open arms and showed Carr how Cox turned out to be such a great friend.
"The friendship really grew when we had the Chick-fil-A Bowl that year (2009) and I think we had only a few days to go home for Christmas," Carr said. "I was struggling getting a flight all the way back. He actually asked if I was going to make it home and I wasn't sure. So he asked me to go home with him and celebrate the holiday with him and his family, which really meant a lot to me."
"Meeting his family, you can tell why he's such a good person," Carr said. "His mom, dad, brother and sister; they're tremendous people who I have a ton of respect for. I think that's why Morgan is the person he is today."
Carr and Cox have maintained their friendship since Cox's graduation. Cox is now the long-snapper for the Baltimore Ravens and about to play in his first Super Bowl. Cox said Carr has been a big help this season by encouraging and motivating him.
"He's been a really important part this whole season," Cox said. "He has encouraged me. Throughout the whole season, I give him notes and he sends me notes. He will tell me, `you're doing awesome, I love what you are doing' and I will tell him what I am thinking; he's been really great."
Carr's encouragement for Cox spilled over to the world of Twitter occasionally, too.
During the Broncos-Ravens playoff game, he had this to say:
"Don't get me wrong, I love Peyton (Manning) and Malik J (Jackson), but I'm pulling for my older bro @cmorgancox and the Ravens today. #perfectsnaps"
"What a game. @cmorgancox had a perfect game-winning field goal snap. That man is never affected. #LongSnapper"
As Cox prepares to make the most important snaps of his life--to this point-- Carr knows he won't be shaken by the biggest stage in sports. He referenced the potential game-winning snap against Alabama in 2009 and multiple game-winning snaps in the NFL, saying Cox "kills it" when it's crunch time.
Carr said getting to watch Cox play in the Super Bowl would be "awesome," and that he feels a sense of pride and accomplishment for his close friend.
But, he also uses Cox's success as a catalyst for his own drive and determination.
"It's motivation for me. Not only is he a teacher for me, but he's somebody I'd like to emulate as well. He's made it to the highest level, the pinnacle of his career, at an early age. I look at him as that older brother that you want to be like and doing the things you want to accomplish."