With Ohio State's national approach to recruiting, the Buckeyes are bound to find themselves in situations late in the process where a long-time, out-of-state commit is reconsidering playing his college ball a little closer to home. After all, the thought of moving away from family, friends and everything you've ever known is probably a little daunting.
It appears that is now the case for Georgia five-star defensive end Brenton Cox, as the desire to play alongside kids he's known his whole life seemingly led to him announcing his decommitment from Ohio State on Wednesday evening.
I Want to thank the whole OSU organization and fan base for welcoming me into the buckeye family , but i would like to decommit , Thanks for everything #1000
— (@Brenton_cox) December 6, 2017
The 6-foot-5, 247-pound Cox committed to the Buckeyes over the home-state Bulldogs following an unofficial visit for the annual Spring Game in mid-April. His relationship with defensive line coach Larry Johnson — as well as his track record of developing players into first-round NFL Draft picks — played a key role in Cox's decision.
However, Alabama and Georgia both started to gain steam again this fall. His decommitment comes just one day after an official visit to Tuscaloosa, during which he sat next to Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban as the program found out it would play in the College Football Playoff.
Cox's decision leaves Ohio State without a single defensive end in this year's recruiting class. And with Tyquan Lewis and Jalyn Holmes graduating and Sam Hubbard likely off to the NFL following the Cotton Bowl, it's a position of great need.
The staff planned to take two more defensive ends this cycle, with New Jersey four-star Jayson Oweh and Cleveland Heights four-star Tyreke Smith their top remaining targets. With Cox now out of the picture — and highly unlikely to take his official visit this weekend as previously planned — the staff will undoubtedly have to ramp up their respective recruitments.
Cox will take an official visit to Georgia on the weekend of Dec. 15, and then sign with his college of choice during the Early Signing Period one week later. All signs point toward the Bulldogs being the pick, but it appears the Crimson Tide made quite the impression last weekend, too.