The Next Generation

Bryan Cox Jr., the son of a former NFL great, talks about his weekend visit to Happy Valley for the Penn State-Michigan game and more.

Like father, like son.

Bryan Cox Jr. of Avon, Ohio, is the son of legendary NFL linebacker Bryan Cox. Though he's just 16 years old, the defensive end at Avon High already stands at 6-foot-3 and 227 pounds. This past weekend, he drove east with his family to Penn State for an unofficial visit.

The junior lineman was impressed with the display at Beaver Stadium as the Nittany Lions beat rival Michigan 41-31.

“It was really intense, the fans were really intense and into it,” Cox told “It was impressive all around. I had a good time.”

While it wasn't a long visit, it was a good one. The Cox family rolled onto campus about three hours before the game and didn't have time to tour campus, choosing to head straight to the stadium. They met with some members of the Nittany Lion administration then went in to see the game. Cox has been to several Ohio State games but the Penn State turnout impressed him, especially the spirited atmosphere for the nationally televised game.

“It was more than I expected, to be honest with you,” Cox said. “I knew Penn State was a well-rounded campus and a good school, but I didn't know everything about it would be this big. You see it on TV, and it doesn't look that big.”

But it is “that big,” right?

“Oh, it's big and loud,” Cox said. “It's a really big place, I think maybe bigger then Ohio State. At least it felt that way.”

Already holding an offer from North Carolina that he hauled in this past summer, he speculates that Michigan State will be coming in next. There's a good reason for the early attention; already this season, Cox has accrued 36 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He's getting mail and hand written letters from USC and a “flurry of mail from LSU.”

Penn State, he says, sends him plenty as well and is keeping in steady contact.

He isn't settled on a position. Some schools want him as a linebacker but he thinks staying on the line works for him. His reasoning is simply -- “I ain't done growing yet and I'm a big boy.” He thinks his size translates well to defensive end.

“But right now, my focus isn't on that or recruiting. It's on my team. We made the playoffs and I want to be focused on that,” Cox said. “I want us to go as far as we can and not be worried about myself -- what offer is coming in next or whatever.”

Dad also has some wise advice for his son.

“He tells me not to worry about things,” Cox said. “He said the right window always opens, I just need to be ready for it.”

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