Three-star defensive end Bryan Cox, Jr. (Fort Lauderdale, FL) has decided to stay in-state for college, committing to the Florida Gators during his official visit Saturday.
The son of three-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro and Super Bowl champion linebacker Bryan Cox, Sr., the younger Cox transferred from Avon High School in Avon, OH to St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, FL for the 2011 season after his father took a job as pass rush coach with the Miami Dolphins (where he spent the first five years of his storied NFL career).
A one-time Miami commitment, Cox at 6’3” and 240 lbs. will likely be groomed for the Buck linebacker position, an important part of head coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s defensive unit.
Though he is ranked as the No. 36 player at his position and No. 88 within the state of Florida according to Rivals.com (with similar placements from ESPNU), Cox very well could be a diamond in the rough for the Gators, who have had their collective eye on him since he participated in Friday Night Lights in July.
Not only does he have the pedigree, he is also coming off a season in which he was unable to amass a lot of reps as he missing the majority of his team’s games due to being sidelined six weeks with a wrist injury.
Cox chose Florida over offers from Clemson, Louisville and Miami among others. He was originally planning to head to Clemson on Jan. 28 for an official visit but cancelled the trip after learning that defensive coordinator Kevin Steele was fired.
The seventh Gators commitment in the defensive front seven for 2012, Cox is Florida’s 19th pledge overall and just the 10th from within the state. The Gators have now received a commitment out of St. Thomas Aquinas three years in a row with cornerbacks sophomore Cody Riggs (2010) and freshman Marcus Roberson (2011) as the most recent players to join the program from the Fort Lauderdale powerhouse.
ESPN first reported Cox’s commitment Saturday afternoon.