Brenton Cox considers himself a speed rusher.
Watch him play and you’d be hard-pressed to argue with the five-star defensive end prospect and Ohio State commit.
But like most football players, Cox wants to improve his game and become a more well-rounded player. That’s precisely why he made the trip to Columbus over the weekend for the Buckeyes’ annual Friday Night Lights camp.
Cox wanted a chance to work with Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson — a man known for teaching technique. That opportunity excited Cox as he looked to add another dimension to his pass-rush skill set.
“I do the outside speed rush well, but what I want to work on his my hands," Cox said. "I can blow past anybody but it’s just like, how is that going to look? It’s going to look like he’s raw and he doesn’t know techniques so I just like working on my technique.”
Rated as the No. 19 overall prospect in the 2018 class, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Cox committed to the Buckeyes on April 25. Cox, a native of Stockbridge, Georgia, picked Ohio State over the hometown Bulldogs despite a late push.
There hasn’t been a ton of wavering in that commitment since then despite the fact some believe a flip back to Georgia could happen. And Cox said Friday night he loved getting back up to play in his future stadium.
“It’s a good experience and I’m going to get two more days of it since I don’t leave until Sunday," he said. "So it’s definitely a good experience.”
With players like Tyquan Lewis and Jalyn Holmes gone after this season and Sam Hubbard likely to join them, Ohio State can — and probably will — take a large defensive line haul in this 2018 class. The Buckeyes already have commitments from Cox, Taron Vincent and Andrew Chatfield up front and they’re still very high on Micah Parsons, Jayson Oweh and Tyreke Smith. When it’s all said and done, the group could shape the future of Ohio State’s defense.
Cox is a big part of that, and he’s working this summer to develop into more than just a speed rusher off the edge. Johnson certainly helped him take a big step Friday night.
"There are some coaches who want you to just go. No matter how you get it, just go," Cox said. "But Coach Johnson knows what it takes to get to the NFL. I’ve seen previous players he had like Joey Bosa so he knows and I’m definitely listening to the technique part."