Backup Quarterback Shows Good Touch

Brandon Cox used his opportunity in the A-Day game to show his coaches what he can do.

Auburn, Ala.--Brandon Cox was back in the saddle again on Saturday, showing the form that made him the state's Mr. Football his senior season at Hewitt-Trussville High School.

Although he is no threat to challenge starter Jason Campbell for the starting quarterback job in 2003, Cox's play in the A-Day game was an impressive conclusion to his first college spring training. He completed four out of five passes for 59 yards in limited duty in the second half. While the numbers look good, the most impressive part of his performance is how cool he was under pressure.

That won praise from his position coach Steve Ensminger, who said that the freshman performed well in the game situation. "I thought it was good for him," Ensminger. "I thought Brandon competed very well."

Tommy Tuberville also mentioned the quarterback. "I was happy with Brandon Cox, who with such little work this spring showed lots of touch and got the ball down the field," Tuberville said. Neither Cox nor backup Wesley Hill saw any action in the major scrimmage on Wednesday.

Cox came to Auburn last summer as an anticipated recruit, but he left the program early in preseason drills after becoming ill enough to drop out of school for the semester to go home for treatment.

Quarterback Brandon Cox takes off out of the pocket during Saturday's A-Day game.

The left-hander returned to classes in January and participated in the winter workout program. He entered spring drills fourth on the depth chart, but has done enough to move up to No. 3 past Wesley Hill, head coach Tommy Tuberville said.

On Saturday, he was on target with every pass. His only incompletion was on a play in which he bought extra time by rolling towards the sideline, but there was no open receiver.

"I didn't really go in there too nervous," Cox said of playing before more than 30,000 fans at the A-Day game. "I went in there with my head on straight just thinking that I needed to stay calm and throw the ball to open guys.

"I came into the spring pretty rusty not having played football for year," Cox added. "I have had a good spring. I have been able to learn the offense a little bit and got some experience that should help. I did pretty good today and that is encouraging. I am going to keep striving and see what happens this summer."

Cox plans to hit the weights and get in prime shape for the start of two-a-days in August. "I definitely want to add weight, strength, speed, arm strength--all of it." Cox, who stands six-foot-three, says he currently weighs 192 pounds. "Hopefully by fall I will be 205."

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