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Archive for Thursday, September 14, 1995

COSEY FINDS PLACE TO PLAY IN SPRINGFIELD

September 14, 1995

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When Del Miller accepted the Southwest Missouri State's head football coach's position in March, he didn't need to read the bio on Michael Cosey.

Miller, an assistant at Kansas State for six years before heading to Springfield, Mo., knew plenty about Cosey from his days at Lawrence High.

Cosey, a 1992 LHS graduate and two-time all-state running back, gained 3,281 yards in three seasons, including 1,854 yards his senior year.

"I was aware of him," Miller said. "He's a lot bigger now. He had pretty good moves and was pretty powerful in high school."

Cosey, who transferred to SWMS in January, was unaware of Miller until he was named the Bears' head coach in March.

"He knew about me, but I didn't know about him," said Cosey, a 5-foot-11, 205-pound junior. "I was clueless."

After high school, Cosey continued to thrive for two years at Fort Scott Community College, where he rushed for 2,648 yards and 25 touchdowns. He signed with Texas Tech but did not play in 1994.

Cosey, declining to comment on his stint with the Red Raiders, considered transfering to Pittsburg State and Missouri Southern State before deciding on SWMS.

"Coach (Dick) Purdy had a lot to do with it," Cosey said of hooking up with the Bears. "Defensive backs coach Mike Kolling came to the high school and coach told him about me."

Miller held Cosey out of spring practices so Cosey could concentrate on his 18-hour course load.

"He feels comfortable here," Miller said. "He didn't like it too well at the time, but he really buckled down and spent some time with our tutors and did a nice job and has a lot of confidence right now in what he can do in the classroom."

Cosey, majoring in community recreation, completed six more hours in the summer. Including this year, Cosey is eligible to play football for two seasons.

"I'm taking 15 hours this semester and there's a chance I might graduate in the summer," Cosey said. "I'll still have a year to play after that."

In his Bears' debut two weeks ago against McNeese State, Cosey carried six times for 23 yards. One of those rushes covered 23 yards.

"At the end he broke four tackles for a big gain," Miller said. "We planned on using him a lot last week. Unfortunately he got hurt so we didn't get him back until this week."

Cosey sprained his right ankle during practice last week when a lineman rolled on it, causing him to miss the Northeast Missouri State conest, a 30-17 Bears' victory.

Cosey will be available this Saturday night, when the Bears (1-1) play at Oklahoma State.

"I would say he'll see a lot of action," Miller said. "We'd like to get the ball in his hands 20 to 25 times."

The offensive-minded Miller tutored the K-State quarterbacks, including Chad May, now with the Minnesota Vikings. In the season opener, the Bears attempted 46 passes and rushed 30 times.

"Right now we do a lot of passing," Cosey said. "We're trying to have a more balanced attack.

"Trying to learn a new system was difficult. Now I'm getting it down and it's coming natural."

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