ESJ’s Coxie uncertain future still includes LSU landing

Published 12:03 am Saturday, April 23, 2016

RESERVE — There are a lot of things up in the air for East St. John senior Da’Monte Coxie.

Coxie, who transferred to East St. John High from Tara High as a junior, hauled in 54 catches for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns during his senior season. He has committed to play for LSU but has not yet signed.

Coxie, who transferred to East St. John High from Tara High as a junior, hauled in 54 catches for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns during his senior season. He has committed to play for LSU but has not yet signed.

All this week Coxie and his Wildcats track teammates have been practicing at Joe Keller Stadium for the District 7-5A track meet that was held Thursday night at Thibodaux High, even as a forecast of bad weather had folks talking about a shift to Friday. (It wasn’t.)

The affable young man also was making plans for tonight’s prom to be held in New Orleans, hoping he wouldn’t have to dash back from down the bayou to get ready. (He won’t.)

Then there’s the little business regarding his future as a football player.

First things first, though.

Coxie (it’s pronounced Coke-see) did compete in the District 7-5A meet Thursday, winning the boys long jump and finishing second in the triple jump. He was named the Boys Field MVP as the Wildcats finished fifth in the team competition.

He didn’t do so well in the 200 meter run, finishing in     23.23 (22.6 is his best time). He also ran on the 800 meter relay team.

He has now qualified for the regional meet to be held Wednesday in Thibodaux.

Besides vying for titles and MVP awards, Coxie said his work on the track is helping him get better for football.

“I’ve got to get better,” Coxie said. “When I’m not doing something, somebody else is getting better than me. I can’t just do nothing.”

The  6-foot-3, 175-pound Coxie,  who was a member of L’OBSERVATEUR’s All-St. John football team, had 54 catches for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns last season even as the Wildcats struggled at times for victories.

“It was very challenging because throughout all the bad going around, I just had to be the positive attitude on the team,” he said. “There were a lot of negatives. We weren’t getting wins that we were supposed to be getting. We weren’t coming out on top. At the end of it, just had to make the best of it.”

By season’s end, Coxie had offers from Southeastern, McNeese State, Tulane and Southern Mississippi, but announced his commitment to LSU last summer, but did not sign on National Signing Day in February. In fact, Coxie took to Twitter the night before the big day and the planned party at Fatty’s Restaurant in Garyville to decommit, only to change his mind a few hours later.

“All kinds of different people were telling me all kinds of different things,” Coxie said. “I felt like I had to do something.”

Two months later, Coxie still has not officially signed and his future is still up in the air. He said he does not yet know if he will have to attend a junior college before joining the Tigers later.

“My grades are good,” he said. “I just have to wait.”

There is no question about Coxie’s talent,and East St. John track coach Jerome Wilson said Coxie’s work ethic is evident both on and off the field.

Both men were new to the school last year. Coxie transferred in from Tara High in Baton Rouge as a junior in January of 2015 due to what he simply calls “family issues.”

He moved to the LaPlace area where there was family.

“At my old school, I had nothing over there,” he said. “It wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be because I already knew people out here. At the same time it was challenging. It was easy because we had a whole new coaching staff and I was new too.”

As a student it was hard because everybody was like, ‘the new dude was coming and, he’s tall so he must play some type of sport.’”

Wilson was among a number of coaches brought in by new head football coach Aldon Foster before the football season.

He was the football team’s wide receivers coach and had heard of a kid named Coxie on the recruiting circuit.

“He’s a great, humble kid,” Wilson said. “You can’t teach natural ability. Me coming in like that, a lot of kids of his stature are not that conducive to coaching. He came right in, listened to everything I had to give him.

“He’s a great teammate. He does everything we ask him to do. I could ask him to run back to the school right now and he would do it.”

Coxie said he fell in love with football when he was just a little kid in Baton Rouge, dreaming of the day he would get to play for LSU.

“Everybody wanted me to play basketball,” he said. “We were just outside playing football one day and I just started to love the sport after that. The Baton Rouge Ravens was my first pee wee team I played for.”

Even after he got to East St. John folks wanted him to play basketball.

“I didn’t want to play,” he said.

“I already had it set out what I was going to do.”

He doesn’t golf or play tennis or baseball either.

“I could,” he said, with all humility. “I tried baseball. I like playing the outfield, but I don’t really care for batting because they throw the ball hard. I don’t want to get hit with the ball.”