After a season-ending injury his senior year of high school, Domenic Cozier has battled back to lead Holy Cross

first_imgAfter a breakout junior season in high school, Domenic Cozier’s chances of playing for a Division I FBS school were higher than ever before. Teams had interest and Cozier planned to visit schools, but just needed his senior year to cement his status. In the opening half of the first year in his final season at Milton (Massachusetts) Academy, Cozier fell to the ground. Torn ligaments in his elbow would put an end to his high school career and his recruitment by Syracuse, among other FBS schools.He transferred to Milton to focus on football his sophomore year of high school, and before his injury, Cozier rushed 90 times for 1,445 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. He was going to be a player for a Power 5 school, but none of that mattered anymore. The injury left Holy Cross as one of two remaining schools asking for him. “It was a big setback and obviously it changed recruiting for a lot of schools,” Cozier said. “Holy Cross was always there for me, throughout the process, especially when I was hurt.”Following surgery and rehabilitation on his elbow for the remainder of his time at Milton, Cozier headed to Holy Cross not as the running back he is today, but as a wide receiver. Standing at 5-foot-9, Holy Cross expected Cozier to be a more natural fit for the team as a wideout. He accepted that role.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThrough six games, Cozier had minimal impact in a predominantly special teams role. In Week 7, due to injuries in the backfield, Cozier finally got a chance to start at tailback for the first time since he tore his elbow. Against Harvard on Oct. 15, 2016, Cozier totaled 112 net yards on 16 carries.“It slows down so much…after you have success in that first game,” said Cozier. “Ever since that I have been fine.”Eva Suppa | Digital Design EditorFollowing the game versus Harvard, though, Cozier only earned three more starts in the backfield to end his freshman season. In his second year, Cozier improved his yards per carry but still failed to make a season-long impact. Stuck behind other running backs on the team, he was deployed sparingly as a speed back, totaling just 39 carries for the season.To establish himself as the feature back with the Crusaders, Cozier set out to change his body before his junior season. At just 164 pounds after the conclusion of his sophomore season, Cozier dedicated his summer to his physical development. He said he now sits around 180 pounds.“He was never a scrawny kid growing up, but he was never as big and as strong as he is now,” said Anthony Mazzini, a close friend and SU alum. “It has helped him grow as a football player over the years, the numbers speak for themselves.”Cozier had a breakout season after gaining weight in 2018 and was named second team All-Patriot League. He ranked 61st in the nation in rushing scores and 91st in yards, leading Holy Cross to wins in their last four Patriot League contests. Included in those games was a 56-0 rout of Lehigh in which Cozier ran for 208 yards and a touchdown, the eighth-highest single game rushing total in the college’s history.“It was definitely my best game I have ever played,” said Cozier.To start 2019, Cozier dealt with pneumonia and missed the season-opener at Navy, then barely played in the Crusaders’ subsequent win over New Hampshire. The offense has struggled to get going without him thus far, and with an uncertain situation at quarterback, Cozier will seek out a bigger role moving forward in his final season, now at full strength.“I want to be first team All-Patriot League,” Cozier said. “But I also want to be an All-American.” Comments Published on September 25, 2019 at 11:23 pm Contact Eli: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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