LSU signed 22 prospects after National Signing Day in February, and with the NCAA class limit of 25 signers, the Tigers have three spots available to fill this off-season.
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron has repeatedly said that he plans to explore the NCAA transfer portal, and now the Tigers have seized one of the best prospects available in the transfer market.
Thursday, Linebacker for the State of North Dakota Jabril Cox told Geaux247 staff that he was committed to LSU, halting his recruiting process before he was ever able to visit Baton Rouge as the NCAA recruiting period was extended until June 1st.
Regardless, Cox said he had heard enough from LSU staff to feel comfortable signing up for the Tigers, and he will be immediately eligible to play in the next 2020 season.
What is the talent of the 6 feet 3 inches 233 pounds?
Cox was named FCS All-American in its first year in 2017, then was an All-American selection in 2018 and 2019. He won three FCS national championships with the Bison, and last fall he finished the year with 92 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for the loss.
“It might not make the headlines, but Jabril Cox is easily among the most talented players in the transfer market this offseason,” said Charles Power, analyst at 247Sports National Recruiting. “He was one of the top players in the FCS overall last year and is a legitimate hope for the NFL. Cox flew under the radar out of high school due to an injury canceling his junior season. He is athletic, varied and productive at a position where LSU will have to replace some major contributors. When you go back and watch his senior video, it’s always surprising that schools have missed out – he’s always been a top athlete. I know Bo Pelini has some familiarity after playing against Cox last year. I love this mic for LSU.
In three field seasons, he has compiled a list of accomplishments that include the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year and a Buck Buchanan Award finalist.
“I spent four great years in the state of North Dakota. We’ve won three national titles, and I wouldn’t change anything for the world, “said Cox last month in an interview with ESPN Off the Bench. “But, I think it’s time for a new journey, and getting into the transfer portal has been a big decision for me to help elevate my game and compete at the highest level. “
Cox led the Bison to a 16-0 season in 2019, and now he joins a familiar face of former Youngstown state head coach Bo Pelini, who is now the defensive coordinator of Baton Rouge.
Cox and Pelini have clashed on the pitch in recent years as FCS opponents, allowing Pelini to get to know what Cox brings to the table.
“My first FCS game was against his team,” said Cox. “It was my exit party. Me and him, we had a great relationship. I always caught up with him after the games. He’s just a great coach, overall. “
LSU safety coach Bill Busch was instrumental in the landing of Cox, Cox’s mother’s legacy from American Samoa working for Busch due to its connections to the South Pacific Islands, which included teasing longtime NFL players like Paul Solia and Johnathan Fenee.
“What could be better than coming from North Dakota to LSU,” said Cox. “Just a program that will help me succeed as an athlete and improve myself as a player as I try to take it to the next level.
“They tell me how I can become an impact player. “
How did a talented player like Cox end up at NDSU?
Cox had an interest in FBS coming out of high school in Kansas City, but an injury in his most important season for evaluation by college coaches left him on the back burner with the teams as they filled their boards at linebacker. Despite playing back and forth and totaling more than 3,000 yards and over 30 touchdowns as an elder, he would bring his talents to the NDSU as one of the most talented players in the signed program.
“In the junior year, I was recruited a lot from many FBS schools, but I tore up my LCA in the middle of the season,” he said. “It made a lot of them back off. In the final year, the state of North Dakota entered the picture. I took a tour, and saw that it was a great program for me and the best suited, and I made the opportunity work. “
Now Cox will travel to Baton Rouge to join an LSU program that has just completed a 15-0 season and a national championship. Before making his final decision, Cox said interest had come from more than 50 college programs, which included a number of Southeast Conference programs.
Stay tuned to Geaux247 and 247Sports to learn more about Cox’s decision and LSU’s pursuit of other prospects on the NCAA transfer portal.