QB Brandon Cox
Cox is a 6-3, 190-pound lefty who completed over 70 percent of his passes for the Hewitt--Trusville High School Huskies. Guess is a 5-11, 170 receiver with 4.51 speed who caught nearly 200 passes from Cox the past two seasons.
"I just sat down and decided that Auburn would be the place to go with the quarterback situation there. I talked to Coach (Bob) Petrino and I really liked him and I am impressed with his background." Petrino was hired earlier this week from the Jacksonville Jaguars as Auburn's new offensive coordinator.
Cox had loads of offers before narrowing his list of schools to AU, Florida, LSU and North Carolina State. He dropped the Wolfpack and then chose the Tigers from his final list. "Auburn recruited me the hardest out of the three," he says.
Defensive ends coach Terry Price recruits the Birmingham area for the Tigers. Former offensive coordinator and QB coach Noel Mazzone also recruited the pair before he was replaced by Petrino.
As a senior, Cox completed 70.8 percent of his 329 passes for 2,887 yards with 27 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Florida was considered the main competition for the Tigers for Cox, but he says that he decided not to take a visit to Gainesville after Coach Steve Spurrier stepped down. "Spurrier retiring took them out of the picture," he says. "At LSU, with the quarterback situation, I believe there are too many quarterbacks down there."
Cox said that his interest in Florida dropped even more when Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan turned down the head coaching job that was taken by Ron Zook. That helps explain his decision to commit to Auburn even before taking an official visit to the Plains where he was a star last summer at a passing camp.
When asked the secret to his success as such an accurate passer, Cox says, "Knowing where my receivers are going to be along with practice. Once you get to know your receivers and they get to know you, when the routes are not open you learn where they are going to be and how they are going to get open. I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates and, in particular, my offensive lineman and receivers."
Wide receiver Lee Guess was Cox's favorite target for the Huskies.
Cox said he was happy with his choice and pleased to make a choice. "Definitely, it takes a little pressure off of me. Hopefully, it will quiet down and things will get back to normal."
Commenting on being able to throw to Guess some more, Cox says, "That is great that we will be able to play in college together. We have been playing together since seventh grade. Hopefully, we will keep playing together for four or five more seasons."
Guess and Cox both play basketball for Hewitt-Trussville and are both honor students. The wide receiver has a reputation for having awesome hands and a knack for getting open,
Guess told Inside the Auburn Tigers, "The people around Auburn and the great atmosphere make it a perfect place for me along with the academics. It is in the state and hopefully I can have a bunch of friends and family rooting me on. That is definitely a part of it."
With Auburn playing most of its games on TV, with many of the dates on national TV, Guess says, "It is going to be fun. I have to say that it is pretty exciting."
Guess notes that he also considered North Carolina State and LSU, but Auburn was the team that recruited him the hardest and has been the leader.
As a senior, Guess made 93 catches for 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns with just four dropped passes. He returned 27 kickoffs for 810 yards and scored one TD. As a junior he caught 87 passes for 1,251 yards and 11 touchdowns. He returned 27 kickoffs for 708 yards and one touchdown. Of the 90 catchable passes thrown his way, only three were not converted into completions.
Tiger Ticket Extra: Cox and Guess put on a show at an Auburn passing camp. Hewitt-Trussville reached the finals vs. Mays High of Atlanta, a team that features a prospect who will visit Auburn this weekend--WR Bryan McClendon, the son of former Georgia Bulldog and NFL player Willie McClendon.
More Tiger Ticket Extra: Guess and Cox know who their offensive coordinator will be, however, no decision has been announced on a defensive coordinator. A quartet of names to watch includes Paul Rhodes of Pitt, Gene Chizik of Central Florida, Tyrone Nix of Southern Miss and Brent Venables of Oklahoma. All four are defensive coordinators at their schools. Venables is the co-coordinator with Mike Stoops, brother of head coach Bob Stoops.