Updated: May 24
Depth at linebacker was a major concern for LSU coming into Spring practices, with so many leaders, talents, and specimen leaving for the NFL...however, we think Coach Orgeron's already solved the issue in April.
Orgeron refused to hesitate or stand in the way of a solution, sending massive two-way WR/LB freshman Devonta Lee to LB, he also sends former safety Marcel Brooks to LB...though who are we kidding, Marcel was basically a line of scrimmage delay blitzer...these guys join veterans Damone Clark, Ray Thornton, and Micha Baskerville as stellar options...yet the biggest catch was finally made.
We'd been predicting Cox's arrival for a month and a half, but due to the Corona virus's heinous, duplicitous effects, he hasn't been able to make a trip down to Baton Rouge for an official visit.
Offers from other schools, a distance of thousands of miles, a new home for a few years, a pandemic...none of the above could stand in the way of Cox signing for LSU, a pact made in blood, forged in bone and steel.
Thanks to Joe Burrow's 2019 advertisement, becoming a champion and NFL star at LSU is a destination Cox didn't even need to visit to sign...he just had to imagine.
Jabril Cox is now the first player to refrain from visiting their new school before transferring...it seems Jabril Cox already knows what he'll be capable of in purple and gold.
Cox won 3 FCS national titles during his career with the Bison, racked up 258 tackles, 158 (as a Solo artist), 32 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, 18 pass breakups, 6 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries, and 1 forced fumble...Pavlovian numbers...
In addition, he's racked up 190 return yards from those 6 interceptions, including 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns.
For a linebacker...this is crazy...but keep in mind, he is a playmaker more than a hard-hitting destroyer.
At LSU...this is normal, Cox won't just adapt and acclimate to the SEC, Jabril will dominate and hold those who doubt him in perennial anguish & defeated contempt.
As a 3 time Division 1AA FCS champion, Cox jumps to another program built on title-winning pedigree and brings his ballhawking mentality from North Dakota to Baton Rouge...just at the right time for LSU's linebacking corps, as well as awarding Cox a huge chance to hook up with old haunt Bo Pelini.
After his high school knee injury knocked him down from one of the most highly sought after linebackers in the country to settling for the bottom of the barrel offer-wise, everyone seemed to forget about Cox...that is except North Dakota State and Beaux Pelini.
Pelini recruited him during the current LSU defensive coordinator's time coaching Youngstown State. Though Pelini lost out to NDState in the race, then had to suffer Cox's wrath on the field during what became Cox's coming out party, Cox never forgot Pelini's loyalty.
There are puzzling things the film shows us:
1. SHYING AWAY FROM CONTACT?
On tape he can be seen ducking from hits on quarterbacks and bracing for impact, this comes up time and time again on Cox's tapes...which is surprising considering how many other examples exist of him absolutely going Menendez on some opponents.
I don't buy what some people are saying about "contact not being his thing", though it is true: he looks for the ball much more often than a savage face-altering Michael Myers hit...like Marcel Brooks hunts for on every play.
Of the three linebacker spots, I sense the upcoming balance as this new linebacking corps takes shape:
2. WHERE WILL HE PLAY?
Without question it has to be as a weak side linebacker.
While Damone Clark or Micha Baskerville would be most trusted & positioned as the middle linebacker, Marcel Brooks, Ray Thornton or even Jacoby Stevens as SAMs, we have enough depth & desecration at linebacker to keep Cox clean and free to make plays.
Brooks and Damone Clark, aka Lil Devin White, have hard-hitting prowess, and must shield Cox as he finds his feet in the ultra physicality of the SEC after a potentially tackle-free off-season.
3. HE'S A PLAYMAKER, BABY
Jabril will be running down guys with his side to side speed, disrupting the short passing game, and as long as he's an LSU Tiger, Cox will make plays.
I guarantee, if he starts, Cox will pull off 4 interceptions and return at least 1 for a TD in 2020, such is the threat of his anticipation, while his unknown quantity chameleonist ways will do him wonders in fooling QBs within Pelini's 4-3 system.
CAPTURE NECESSITY: 10/10
HITTING POWER: 7/10
LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
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LSU'S TOP 10 PLAYERS OF 2019