With little time to work, Tennessee failed to land a true nose tackle in its 2018 class, but Jeremy Pruitt isn’t going to let that happen again this next cycle.
The Vols have already identified several future targets at the position for the Class of 2019, with LeDarrius Cox from McGill-Toolen (Ala.) among the the early priorities.
Cox got his first glimpse of Rocky Top on Saturday, attending Junior Day where he caught up with Pruitt and spent lots of time with defensive line coach Tracy Rocker and grad assistant Nate Ollie.
“The trip went very well,” said the 6-foot-5, 300-pound tackle. "It was nice meeting the coaches and starting to build a relationship with them. I wanted to see where I would fit in at.”
Cox, a 3-star recruit whose early offers include Georgia, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Nebraska, had met Pruitt previously twice at visits/camps at Alabama, but the Mobile native had his first 1-on-1 interaction with the new head coach Saturday. Pruitt told Cox that Tennessee’s defense is looking for his combination of size and strength.
“He was just saying when he watched my film he was amazed,” Cox said.
“The coaches said I have a really nice get-off. Pruitt told me how great Tennessee is, and what it would be like if I came to Tennessee. He said that he was one of the first people to take a chance and offer me.”
Cox recorded 46 tackles and six sacks as a junior, earning honorable mention all-state honors for a program that lost in the Class 7A State Championship Game. He’s being recruited as a true nose guard, describing his game as “very powerful and quick.”
“I have a good get-off and I just do what my coach tells me to do,” Cox said. “I play within the defense.”
Cox visited Georgia last weekend and has trips scheduled to LSU (next week), Ole Miss (March 24) and Texas A&M in the coming weeks. He said both UGA and Tennessee “set the bar high for me.”
“I loved both schools,” Cox said. “It was a fun and nice experience to see both schools. Looking forward to see what’s next.”
Cox plans to return to Tennessee over the summer.