Pasadena High junior quarterback Brandon Cox used terms such as “home” and “comfortable” when discussing his experience visiting the University of Arizona recently on a recruiting trip.
The 6-foot-3, 196-pound signal-caller took his admiration for the PAC-12 school one step farther Thursday afternoon when he verbally committed to the Wildcats in between a recruiting trip to Oregon.
“This feels right and it was about time to make a decision,” Cox said. “Arizona felt like home when I visited and over the last few hours it’s been crazy. I’ve been getting a lot of people I don’t even know on Twitter from the alumni congratulating me.
“There have been alums from ’92 and ’88 and other years reaching out to me. The alumni is great and I look forward to heading over there.”
Cox selected Arizona over second-choice Oregon and two other suitors in Maryland and Iowa State.
“Don’t get me wrong, I visited Oregon and the facilities were nice and the people were great,” Cox said, “but I just didn’t feel as comfortable there as I did at Arizona. Arizona felt like home.”
Cox selected Arizona after finishing up at a camp in Oregon and was heading back from after a layover in Washington when he confirmed his selection.
“Yeah, it’s strange that it happened here, but the time was right,” Cox said. “Oregon hadn’t made me an offer yet, but if they did I still would have chosen Oregon.”
Cox was selected both a Pacific League and All-Area first-team quarterback after completing 60% of his passes for 2,697 yards and 26 touchdowns versus only five interceptions his junior campaign.
The Bulldogs junior was also a threat on the ground, running for 562 yards and eight touchdowns on 96 carries.
Part of what sold Cox on Arizona was the offensive reputation of new Wildcats Coach Rich Rodriguez, who ran a spread offense at both West Virginia and Michigan.
“I’m excited to be heading to Arizona because of Coach Rich,” Cox said. “We both think that I’m a good fit for the offense and his offense elaborates on my skill set.”
The enthusiasm over Cox’s selection was also felt locally as Bulldogs Coach Randy Horton was also pleased.
“I have to congratulate Brandon. He had quite a few offers and I told him to relax and just to make the best decision,” Horton said. “His growth over the last year has come from him being committed to being a better player and being a better leader.”
Both Cox and Horton shared a sentiment that perhaps with Cox’s commitment, the fulcrum of momentum heading into summer has shifted away a bit from Muir toward Pasadena.
“This shows you that you don’t have to go to Muir to go to a Division I school,” Cox said. “We’re changing the culture at PHS and telling people that we’re ready to take the next step. Now, we just have to do it on the field.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun