Cox picked Georgia over Alabama
One of the nation's best defensive line prospects announced his college choice on the first day of the early signing period. Brenton Cox (Stockbridge/Stockbridge, Ga.), a five-star defensive end who is 247Sports Compsite's No. 22 player in the class of 2018, narrowed it down to two SEC schools before eventually picking Georgia over Alabama.
Cox, the No. 2 strong side defensive end in the country and No. 5 player in the state of Georgia, originally committed to Ohio State over Georgia on April 25 but took unofficial visits to both Alabama and Georgia in the fall of this year. In early December, Cox decided to re-open his commitment and took official visits to Alabama and Georgia. He then tweeted on Dec. 17 that he'd narrowed his choices down to those two schools, and that he'd make his pick on the first day of the early signing period.
Despite a strong closing push from Alabama, which has done incredibly well recruiting in the Southeast under Nick Saban, Cox decided to keep his commitment in-state. Cox's hometown of Stockbridge is just over 60 miles from the University of Georgia's campus in Athens. Perhaps the Bulldogs' victory over Auburn in the SEC Championship Game, a win that seemed to announce that Georgia under Kirby Smart is a force to be reckoned with, factored in Cox's decision.
"It just felt like home, and I'd rather put on for my home state then go somewhere else and play hard for them," Cox said on ESPNU, where he announced his commitment live.
He becomes the sixth five-star to commit to Georgia and the Bulldogs' fifth commitment from a top-25 player in the country. It's been a remarkable recruiting cycle for Georgia, which has cleaned up in its own state, locking down five of Georgia's top six prospects. Cox is the third five-star to give Kirby Smart his pledge on the first day of the early signing period—offensive tackle Cade Mays and guard Jamaree Salyer did so earlier Wednesday—and he's the newest in a class full of blue-chips that play all over the field.