Word came in Thursday evening that former North Dakota State linebacker Jabril Cox would be heading to Baton Rouge to spend his final year of eligibility with LSU.
Cox was thought to be the best defensive players on the graduate transfer market. Cox was a three-time All-American and won the Missouri Valley Conference player of the year last season, accumulating 92 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss. Cox also won three FCS national championships with the Bison.
Cox committed to LSU despite never getting a chance to visit campus, but he is familiar with defensive coordinator Bo Pelini thanks to Pelini’s time as head coach at Youngstown State. Cox described the game against Youngstown State his freshman year (8 tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 sacks) as his “coming out party.”
“What’s better than to come from North Dakota State to LSU,” Cox said to 247. “Just a program that will help me succeed as an athlete and to better myself as a player as I try to make it to the next level. They are telling me how I can be an impact player coming in.”
Cox should indeed be an impact player as LSU is desperately thin at linebacker. The Tigers lose K’Lavon Chaisson, Patrick Queen and Jacob Phillips as early departures for the NFL Draft, while Michael Divinity graduated. LSU was forced to move freshman wide receiver Devonta Lee to linebacker and make fellow freshman linebacker/safety hybrid Marcel Brooks a full-time linebacker. Cox is expected to be the starting middle linebacker the day he sets foot on campus.
The graduate transfer route has been kind to LSU. Joe Burrow, of course, won the Heisman trophy and led LSU to a national championship this past season. Cole Tracy had the best kicking season in school history in 2018 after coming over from Assumption College, and Terrence Alexander Jr. had a solid 2018 for LSU after graduating from Stanford.