Brenton Cox Jr. Transfers to Florida
The Florida Gators made headlines last week as they landed one of the top transfers in the transfer portal. Former five-star recruit and Georgia Bulldog, Brenton Cox Jr., transfers to Florida. Cox Jr. put his name in the transfer portal on August 5th and decided to transfer to the Gators on August 9th. While at Georgia he played thirteen of fourteen games for the Bulldogs as a true freshman. Further, Cox Jr. even got to start in the Sugar Bowl against the Texas Longhorns. In his one season at Georgia, Cox Jr. recorded 20 tackles and three pass breakups. In addition, he added a sack versus Kentucky. Cox Jr. and the Florida Gators have applied for a waiver with the NCAA and SEC that would allow the former five-star recruit to be eligible for the 2019 season.
Out of high school, Cox Jr. was one of the top recruits in the 2018 recruiting cycle. He was a five-star strong-side defensive end out of Stockbridge High School in Stockbridge, Georgia. During his recruitment, Cox Jr. received 25 offers from some of the top college football programs in the country. He signed with the Georgia Bulldogs over Alabama, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Miami, Mississippi State, Oregon, and Tennessee. On ESPN, Cox was the 11th ranked recruit and the fifth-ranked defensive end in the country. On the 247 Sports Composite Ranking, Cox was the 23rd ranked recruit and the fifth-ranked defensive end in the country.
What Cox Jr. Brings to the Table for the Florida Gators
The Florida Gators did not seem to have any depth or talent issues at either the defensive end or outside linebacker position. Florida has two seniors starting this season, Jabari Zuniga and Jon Greenard in addition to very talented rotational players in Zachary Carter, Khris Bogle and Mohamoud Diabate. Even with all of the talent on Florida’s defensive line, Cox Jr. might be the most talented. He’s the only five-star on Florida’s roster and could make the biggest impact defending the rush and blitzing the quarterback.
Aa a Bulldog, Cox Jr. brought a different type of skillset that gave him the opportunity to get meaningful snaps as a true freshman. He has the body frame and talent to play both defensive end and outside linebacker. Cox Jr. views himself as an outside linebacker because it fits his game better. Georgia wanted him to play defensive end to make room for one of their younger linebackers. As a result, Cox Jr. would be a perfect fit at Florida’s Buck position. He has the quickness and strength to get to the quarterback. He has a good first step and can really set the edge on opposing quarterbacks. Todd Grantham’s defense has always benefited from the Buck position as Grantham likes to blitz. Grantham has done a good job of developing those players, which will benefit Cox Jr. in his transition to the Gators.
Cox Jr.’s Potential for the Future
If Grantham is able to develop Cox Jr. as he has developed players like Jachai Polite, Montez Sweat, and Leonard Floyd, Cox Jr. could be one of the top edge rushers in the country. Cox Jr. has the talent that every coach wants in a defensive end/outside linebacker. With a change of scenery, Cox Jr. should be able to put all of his focus on football and how to better himself. Even if he does not get the waiver and would have to sit out the 2019 season, he should be one of Florida’s key defenders in the future. He has a lot of upside and could be an elite pass rusher in college football as long as he continues to develop. The future could be very bright for Brenton Cox Jr. and the Florida Gators.