One Last Hurdle: Recruitment of Four-Star Georgia Defensive End Brenton Cox Down to Buckeyes and Bulldogs

By Andrew Ellis on April 20, 2017 at 10:10 am
Will it be the Buckeyes or Bulldogs for four-star defensive end Brenton Cox?

Urban Meyer and Kirby Smart are both hoping for some good news.

It's been an interesting week in the recruitment of four-star defensive end Brenton Cox.

The Georgia standout was in Columbus for last weekend's spring game festivities, and it would appear as though the visit couldn't have gone much better for the Buckeyes. 

Cox isn't really a new name to the Ohio State recruiting scene, but he is a prospect that very few were seriously discussing a mere week or two ago. The most recent visit was the third time the country's No. 3 strong-side defensive end footed the bill for a trip up north.

As recently as last week his crystal ball read 100 percent in favor of Georgia, and it was no surprise considering the number of visits he'd made to Athens, which is only about 60 miles from his hometown of Stockbridge. Cox grew up in a family of Georgia supporters and awarded them with the "dream school" label as well. Virtually all signs have pointed to the in-state Bulldogs. 

But something changed last weekend in Columbus.

The spring game saw the Buckeyes add a pair of unexpected commitments, but perhaps the event's biggest potential prize appears set to announce his intentions sometime next week. The 6-foot-5, 247-pounder returned from Columbus and suddenly seemed ready to make an announcement.

After introducing his mother to the campus, spending quality time with the coaching staff, meeting President Drake, and unleashing some very pro-Buckeye chatter on social media, there was plenty of reason for optimism. 

Following the trip, there was a whole lot of doubt as to whether or not he'd make it to Athens this weekend for their "G-Day" – one of the Bulldogs' biggest recruiting events of the year – and suddenly things were looking very good for Ohio State. Our very own Andrew Lind was the first to Crystal Ball him to the Buckeyes.

Alas, there is, in fact, one big hurdle remaining before the expected commitment. As of Thursday morning, the weekend visit to Georgia is on and Cox is scheduled to be in town Friday and Saturday. It's a certainty that Kirby Smart and his staff will roll out the shiniest red carpet the one-time Bulldog lock has seen in his numerous trips to Athens. 

On Tuesday, Cox tweeted out that a commitment would take place on Sunday, following the trip to Athens. A day later, that timeline changed once again and he now appears likely to announce sometime next week

Few things are definite in recruiting, but a couple days ago it certainly looked as though good news was on the horizon for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. The most recent news, however, could be taken in a number of different ways.

A delayed decision is likely a good thing for the Bulldogs, but could it perhaps be a trip out of respect for the Georgia staff – maybe a "one last chance to change the mind" type of scenario? He's been there about a dozen times over the years and this visit has been planned for a while now.

A Sunday decision would have allowed very little time for the glitz and glamor of the "G-Day" festivities to wear off, and you know the rest of Georgia's commitments will be in his ear this weekend. So, perhaps pushing it back by a few more days will allow those warm and fuzzies to subside a bit before the decision.

The overanalyses are running hot and heavy on just about every Ohio State and Georgia website right now as a pivotal weekend approaches in the recruitment of Brenton Cox. 

Kirby Smart and Co. have been heavily scrutinized this cycle as the Bulldogs have yet to land a single player ranked in the state's top 10. Six players in Georgia's top 10 are currently committed to other programs while four of them – Cox included – are still looking to make their decisions.

Besides the obvious proximity to home, another thing working in Georgia's favor may be the recruitment of Cox's teammate, Marquez Ezzard. The two haven't been shy about their intentions of playing together in college, and Ohio State has yet to really make a push for the wide receiver, though he has been offered. 

Cox is also close with 2019 wideout Jadon Haselwood, and the duo visited Columbus together a few months back. Haselwood was down to Ohio State and Georgia before ultimately siding with the Bulldogs last month.

It was huge for the Buckeyes to get the family on campus for the spring game, and it looks as though they've earned the ever-important blessing from mom. Now the staff must wait for the word.

All eyes will be on Athens this weekend.

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