Bryan Cox finds comfort zone at UF
Published: Monday, April 8, 2013 at 5:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, April 8, 2013 at 5:01 p.m.
Florida's pass rush should be one of the defense's strengths in 2013.
With Jonathan Bullard and Dante Fowler Jr. entering their sophomore campaigns and Ronald Powell set to return from ACL surgery in the fall, the Gators will have a talented trio coming after opposing quarterbacks next season.
UF, however, doesn't have any proven depth behind them and that was a cause for concern going into spring practice.
Some of those worries have been alleviated by Bryan Cox Jr.
Cox reported to Gainesville last summer at 235 pounds and redshirted in 2012 as he searched for his ideal weight and role in Florida's defense. By the end of winter conditioning, Cox had gained 25 pounds and switched positions, moving from outside linebacker to strongside defensive end.
With Bullard out most of the spring (hamstring) and Dominique Easley playing primarily defensive tackle, Cox was able to make the most of his move.
“He's been getting a lot of extra reps,” Fowler said of Cox. “He's just taking them in and trying to get better. And as anybody can see, he's getting really good.
“He came along (in the spring). He said he likes the defensive line and playing on the outside. So I think he found his comfort zone.”
In Saturday's Orange & Blue Debut, the 6-foot-3 Cox showed up in the backfield several times and sacked quarterback Tyler Murphy for a 4-yard loss.
UF coach Will Muschamp expects Cox to contribute this year as Bullard's backup.
“Bryan Cox is a guy that I think is going to play really well for us as we head into fall camp,” he said.
Fowler feels Cox's best attribute is similar to that of his father, former NFL linebacker Bryan Cox Sr.
“He just has a motor,” Fowler said. “I think he gets that from his dad. They say his dad played with a motor and he doesn't stop (either). He keeps going like a Tasmanian devil.”
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