J'den Cox And Kyle Snyder: Through The Years

The J’Den Cox and Kyle Snyder rivalry has gone through a variety of changes, forcing wrestling fans to continually ask, "Cox or Snyder? Snyder or Cox?" It appeared the two would be at odds for the entirety of their careers considering their similar sizes.

In high school, the two were nearly indistinguishable against one another, though Cox had the most recent win in a freestyle match in Fargo at 220 pounds. As the years progressed, they continued to split in Greco-Roman and freestyle.

2012 Fargo Greco-Roman:

2012 Fargo Freestyle:


Later, Snyder enjoyed more freestyle success, and won Junior Worlds after his junior year in high school. Cox was the last loss of Snyder's high school career.


During Snyder's senior year, Cox won a NCAA title as a true freshman:

After Cox's NCAA title, Snyder wanted that rematch even more:

That summer, Snyder gave up his senior year of high school to train at the Olympic Training Center, and went on to win bronze at Junior Worlds.

The question as to who would win the rematch once the two hit college was popular among wrestling fans nationwide. Everyone eagerly anticipated the match when Missouri headed to Ohio State for a dual.

But when it was time for the 197-pound match-up, it wasn’t Cox who stood across from Snyder, but John Eblen. Missouri's coach, Brian Smith, elected to bump Cox up to 285 pounds—a tactic that paid off and earned the Tigers a 20-19 victory. But the question lingered: Cox or Snyder?

A few months later, the two had cruised to the NCAA semifinals at 197 pounds. It was going to happen: Kyle Snyder vs. J’den Cox. In an incredibly tight bout, Snyder hit a beautiful ankle pick that turned out to be the only offensive points of the match.


Snyder got his revenge and punched his ticket to the NCAA finals. Neither went home with a title—Snyder lost in finals, and J’den settled for fifth place.

Later that spring, Snyder and Cox collided once more. This time, in freestyle at the U.S. Open. Cox scored the opening points, but Snyder wound up taking the bout 4-3. Later that tournament, Snyder unseated Olympic champion Jake Varner. Snyder went on to make the world team and won a world title at 19 years old.

On New Years Day, Ohio State announced Snyder would forgo his Olympic redshirt to compete for Ohio State. This would have likely put Cox and Snyder on yet another collision course, but Snyder didn't go down to 197 again—he went up to 285 pounds.

Both Cox and Snyder stood on top of the podium in Madison Square Garden; Cox at 197, and Snyder at 285.

Cox’s NCAA victory enabled him to enter the the Olympic Trials just three weeks later to potentially set up another Snyder/Cox showdown. But Cox shocked many when he announced he’d compete at 86kg (189.5 pounds) instead of 97kg (213 pounds), where he competed previously.

Snyder made the Olympic Team with two victories over 2012 Olympic champion Jake Varner. Meanwhile, Cox stormed through the bracket of proven contenders at 86kg: Clayton Foster, Jake Herbert and eventually Kyle Dake in the Trials finals.

The two officially became Olympic teammates when Cox went to Mongolia and won the 86kg Olympic Games Qualifier.

Now, when Team USA fans are pressed to answer “Cox or Snyder?” they can thankfully say “both.”

Cael Answers Lineup Question After American Dual

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Penn State's head coach Cael Sanderson answered an urgent lineup question after their regular-season dual meet finale with American University. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Live Updates: OK State vs Iowa

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Live updates of a dual meet between one of the biggest rivalries in college wrestling, the Oklahoma State Cowboys vs the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

What Iowa vs Oklahoma State Could Mean For The Post-Season

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Iowa and Oklahoma State have been two of the most dominant wrestling programs in the history of the sport, and their dual meet rivalry is one of the staples of the season. When they meet on Sunday night, Iowa will be favored in every single match which rarely, if ever, has happened.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

National Preps Semifinal Preview

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

By John Foster

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

FRL Friday Edition #5: The Zahid Situation

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

On this Friday edition of FRL, Spey and Bray break down what we know about Zahid Valencia's suspension and preview the upcoming weekend of wrestling.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Fremont & Reeths-Puffer Finally Break Through In Their Michigan Divisions

Craig Zeerip and Matt Brink developed their passion for wrestling growing up in rural communities roughly 40 minutes apart near Muskegon. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Can Wisconsin Win An NCAA Team Trophy In Coach Bono's 2nd Season?

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Wisconsin finished its dual meet season last night with a 20-18 loss to #14 UNI. The Badgers are in their second year under the direction of head coach Chris Bono, and they're already in the conversation for a top-four team trophy at NCAAs.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Arizona State Suspends Zahid Valencia Over Failed Drug Test

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Two-time NCAA champion Zahid Valencia has been suspended by the Arizona State Athletic Department for a failed drug test. According to azcentral.com, The Arizona State athletic department released the following statement: "Zahid Valencia has been suspended indefinitely from the ASU men's wrestling team." 

Purdue Is On The Rise, But Are They An NCAA Trophy Team?

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The Purdue Boilermakers wrapped up the dual meet portion of their season on Sunday with an 18-14 win over Illinois. Purdue's progression has been so impressive this season that The Wrestling Nomad named head coach Tony Ersland the mid-season Coach of the Year. Their season, impressive as it has been, will largely be judged based on their NCAA tournament performance. Are they capable of finishing in the top four at NCAA's?

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

5 Reasons To Watch NDSU vs SDSU

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

North Dakota State goes for their seventh straight dual win against border rival South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits will be looking to close their season with a sixth straight win and finish the season in the top 25 dual rankings. Here are the top reasons this dual is worth tuning in to.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In