ATHENS — Former Georgia player Brenton Cox is making waves at Florida, and he recently revealed he’s eager to take aim at his former teammates.
The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (2-0) are focused for their battle with No. 14-ranked Tennessee (2-0) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Sanford Stadium, but Cox’s comments about this year’s Georgia-Florida game will be filed away.
“It’ll definitely be personal,” Cox told Gators Territory, the Florida Rivals.com website. “I just can’t wait to play them in Jacksonville. Can’t wait to get the W.”
Cox is a starter at defensive end for the Gators and he has had a sack in each of Florida’s first two games, also tied for the team lead with 3 tackles for loss.
Cox started his career at Georgia before entering the transfer portal following the 2019 spring session.
Gators’ coach Dan Mullen has been singing Cox’s praises, noting that Florida got an NFL talent when the former Bulldog transferred to Gainesville.
“Really worked hard in the offseason program … did nothing but work, worked hard on scout team, he’s a good player,” Mullen said in school website story. “I think he’s a guy that wants to play after college as well, and have the opportunity to play in the NFL. The more versatility you have the better, so he’s a pretty versatile guy.”
Cox’s is a success story for the Gators, growing and maturing after sitting out last season on account of the previous SEC in-conference transfer rules. The rules were changed last week on account of the unprecedented COVID circumstances.
A former 5-star prospect from Stockbridge, Ga., Cox has never had his talent put into question.
But as a true freshman at Georgia, there were mild issues on and off the field.
Cox got into a shoving exchange with fellow outside linebacker D’Andre Walker after the former UGA captain tried to get his attention for losing containment in a football game.
— Wes Blankenship (@Wes_nship) September 16, 2018
Later in the 2018 season, when Walker left the SEC Championship Game with an injury, Cox was brought in to help preserve the lead over Alabama.
Instead, Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts came off the bench to rally the Tide for victory. On one key play, Hurts got around Cox, who had lost his containment responsibilities.
To be fair, it was a simple freshman mistake that the talented Cox would surely learn from. There were several other plays that cost the Bulldogs in that 35-28 defeat.
Indeed, Cox made his first career start in the Sugar Bowl and led the team with a career-high six tackles in a 28-21 loss to Texas.
But things to another downward turn for Cox the following spring, when he and teammate Robert Beal were arrested on misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana.
Coach Kirby Smart had Cox and Beal running steps at a scrimmage attended by boosters, and soon after, Cox entered the transfer portal.
Cox has put his time in down in Gainesville, going from an assigned No. 6 to earning the Gators’ jersey No. 1, a sign he is fulfilling all of his great potential.
“It’s been a whole year, so I had a whole year just to do nothing but grind,” Cox told Rivals.com. “So I’ve been working very hard over the offseason that I couldn’t play. I definitely felt like I deserved No. 1 and I wanted to pick up where I left off at. I just wanted to start the season off right.”
The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder has a road trip to Texas A&M this Saturday, followed by a showdown with LSU on Oct. 17, a home date with Missouri and then an off week preceding the Georgia game in Florida.
But already, Cox has put his former Bulldogs’ teammates and coaches on notice, Nov. 7 can’t get here fast enough for him.