Ohio State will need to replace a trio of big-time defensive ends in 2018. On Tuesday, the Buckeyes added one of their key targets in the 2018 recruiting cycle — 4-star DE Brenton Cox, the nation’s No. 2-ranked strongside defensive end per 247Sports.
He will be counted upon to help fill the void created by the likely departures of Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes and Sam Hubbard.
— B R E N T O N (@Brenton_cox) April 26, 2017
It’s been a whirlwind recruitment for the Stockbridge (Ga.) standout. He originally scheduled a commitment date of April 23, but opted to delay the decision so he could take one last look at the home-state Georgia Bulldogs.
He visited Athens last Friday and Saturday, taking in “G-Day” with Kirby Smart and his staff. That trip came on the heels of a visit to Columbus for the Buckeyes’ spring game on April 15, Cox’s second visit to Ohio in a month. It was that return to Ohio State that signaled a serious change in momentum in his recruitment.
Yes, it’d been speculated that he was very fond of Ohio State prior to those trips — he had made a different trip to see the Buckeyes last October — but two trips in one month, the second with his mother in tow, was a sign: This was business.
But … it’s never easy to pick against the home team, especially when a home team is of Georgia’s stature. Cox had gone on record talking about his family’s preference for him to stay home. He told Dawgnation.com’s Jeff Sentell that his family was leaning heavily toward Georgia.
“My family is all 100-percent Dawgs there,” Cox said last month. “They don’t want me to go out of the state anywhere with that. They all want to see me at Georgia.”
The chance to sit down with Urban Meyer, Larry Johnson and the Ohio State support staff changed some minds in the Cox family, but apparently it wasn’t the 6-foot-4, 247-pound Brenton who needed convincing. He announced that he was ready to make a college decision hours after returning from Columbus on Easter Sunday, a move that seemed to say his head and his heart were leaning toward the Buckeyes.
Land of 10 looked at what a commitment from Cox would mean to the Buckeyes earlier on Tuesday night.