A threat to go the distance with any pass he caught during his time as a Mountain Lion, Cox made his way to Eastern Arizona College where he was named a second-team junior college All-American in 1996 with 50 catches for 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns, before earning a scholarship to Purdue where he caught 65 passes for 739 yards and nine touchdowns in two years, serving as Drew Brees' favorite target, hauling in 55 balls in 1998.