No. 5-ranked DE Brenton Cox commits to Ohio State over Georgia

Defensive end Brenton Cox, the No. 19-ranked prospect in the 2018 class, is headed to the Big Ten.

The nation's No. 5-ranked defensive end out of Stockbridge, Georgia, committed to Ohio State over Georgia on Tuesday in a recruitment that had been a back-and-forth battle between the two finalists in recent weeks.

Cox made a visit to Georgia over the weekend for the Bulldogs' spring game, a trip that was followed by immediately by Ohio State assistants using one of two spring evaluation period visits to Stockbridge High on Monday prior to Cox's announcement.

The win for the Buckeyes is the latest in the Peach State for Urban Meyer and staff, with the state's No. 3-ranked prospect joining ESPN300 quarterback Emory Jones on the verbal list from Georgia.

Ohio State has cherry-picked the ultra-talented state in past classes, signing Vonn Bell in 2013, Raekwon McMillan in 2014 and Isaiah Pryor in 2017 (played senior season at IMG Academy), among others.

Ohio State winning out for Cox also means an impactful loss for Kirby Smart and the in-state Bulldogs, with the top four prospects in the Peach State now committed to out-of-state programs in quarterback Trevor Lawrence to Clemson, quarterback Justin Fields to Penn State, and Cox and Jones to Ohio State. Georgia signed four of the top five from inside the state lines in the 2017 class.

Cox becomes the eighth commitment for Ohio State in the 2018 class, which ranked No. 3 in last week's top 25 classes release prior to Cox's verbal. All eight of the Buckeyes' commitments are in the ESPN300, headlined by No. 1-ranked defensive tackle and five-star Taron Vincent, the son of Troy Vincent, Jones and California safety Jaiden Woodbey.

Defensive line continues to be a priority for Ohio State in the 2018 class with recent Penn State decommit and five-star end Micah Parsons at the top of the wish list. The Buckeyes also remain in the mix for five-stars Jackson Carman and Patrick Surtain Jr.

Ohio State is well on the way to an eighth straight top-seven class or better with the Buckeyes having signed 69 ESPN300 prospects in the last five classes.