Five-star defensive end Brenton Cox has unfinished business at Georgia's Stockbridge High School. Heading into his senior year, Cox wants to go out on top and win a state championship like so many other players he knows.
Cox isn't like other players, though. He's one of the best rush ends in the country and is determined to show skeptics why he’s not only deserving of his five-star status, but of his scholarship to Ohio State.
The Georgia native took some time out of his day to speak with us about his upcoming senior season, why he chose OSU over Alabama and Georgia, and the Buckeyes "magic vibe."
(Note: Remarks lightly edited for clarity.)
Land-Grant Holy Land: You were born and raised in Georgia, and have lived in the South your whole life. Why go against the grain and commit to OSU?
Brenton Cox: For me, it was really about the outcome of everything. I was trying to see who would prepare me to be a first-round or top-five type of player, rather than going later in the draft.
LGHL: It's no secret that you were one of the most highly sought after recruits in the 2018 class. Was your final decision difficult considering how many schools were recruiting you?
Cox: It was actually hard, really hard. I knew I wanted to get it out of the way, but I didn't know if I would be making a mistake or if I was doing the right thing. I just had to pray on it. It was a really hard choice, but I knew I would be accepted either way.
LGHL: Were there any schools you were leaning towards committing to besides OSU?
Cox: It was Georgia that I thought would be the best place for me. The same goes for Alabama, they kind of have the same defense. Auburn was the only other one. That's it, though.
LGHL: Is it tough to stay focused knowing that you've essentially punched your ticket to OSU?
Cox: For me, it was just getting one obstacle out of the way. Now I just got to keep the team working hard and win a state championship. Everyone knows that I'm committed to OSU, but now everyone wants to see what the OSU commit can do. So, it's never over.
LGHL: One of your biggest strengths is that you’re not only an insanely gifted athlete, but you’re versatile enough to play all along the defensive line. Where do you see yourself fitting in on the Buckeyes defense?
Cox: Pretty much the rush end. I know I'm going to put on a lot of weight and I put on weight easily, I'm already faster than everybody else, but I see myself fitting in at defensive end. I'm just trying to get stronger and faster. I really want to perfect my game. Everything will come with time and with the coaches in the program. I just worry about stuff I can control.
LGHL: We know what Brenton Cox can do on the football field, but what else will you bring to the table as a Buckeye?
Cox: I'm going to bring hard work. They have dogs at OSU. They kind of have a magic vibe or something over there. Being from the South, they don't really have anybody from Georgia, so I'm going to bring that type of game up there.
LGHL: Are there any players you try to model your game after?
Cox: I model my game after -- he's in high school -- Josh Sweat. He goes to Florida State right now. Also, Lorenzo Carter, I like his speed off the edge and him just being a dog. I also look at Marvin Wilson, who just graduated, but I like the way he plays, too.
LGHL: Paul George has been a hot topic in the sports world. You'll be living in Ohio soon, so do you think the Cavaliers should trade for him?
Cox: Everybody wants to be on a great team. I honestly like the super teams, they remind of the Dream Team. I think they should get him. Kevin Love lets you down sometimes, but you know, when he's hot, he's hot, so they should try and keep him, too.