Bryan Cox Jr.’s head coach denies Syracuse has any interest, but does he have a family axe to grind? Several major recruiting services say the Orange has offererd, but his high school coach (and Cicero, NY native) bizarrely refutes the reports.
The Fizz spoke briefly with Rocco Casullo, the head football coach at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Not only did he deny Syracuse has offered Cox a scholarship, he claims he hadn’t heard anything from the Orange regarding the school’s potential interest in his player.
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This strikes The Fizz as virtually impossible. It would be one thing if a single sketchy website or one forum post mentioned SU’s interest in Cox. But every notable recruiting service indicates Cox is on Syracuse’s radar. Scout, Rivals, and ESPN all say the Orange has offered the 6-foot-3, 230-pound lineman. Meanwhile, Casullo acted like The Fizz was speaking a foreign language when Syracuse was brought up. He sounded completely sure of himself in saying that the Orange was not recruiting Cox. But once you start connecting the dots, it starts making more sense.
Does the last name “Casullo” ring a bell? Rocco is the son of former Syracuse assistant Bob Casullo. Rocco’s father didn’t exactly leave the Orange on the friendliest of terms. Doug Marrone fired the Special Teams Coach midway through last season, after the unit struggled mightily throughout the year despite the presence of Rob Long. Orange fans will likely remember Casullo by the image of him screaming at Long after the typically consistent punter kicked one off the side of his foot. That was Casullo’s last game on the SU sidelines.
Needless to say, Rocco can’t be overly enthusiastic about the thought of Cox Jr. playing for the head coach that recently fired his father. Especially with Cox holding a lot of other offers from big-time schools.
The elder Bryan Cox played linebacker for five different teams in an 11-year NFL career. He provided veteran leadership for a Patriots team that won the Super Bowl in 2001, and is also known for the time he spent with the Jets and Dolphins.
Cox Sr. worked as an assistant coach under Eric Mangini for the Jets and then the Browns. After Cleveland canned Mangini following the ’10 season, Cox Sr. moved on to the Dolphins. He’s now the pass rushing coach for the organization that originally drafted him, and the change of employer worked out perfectly for his son. The move from Ohio to Florida for his senior season allowed more southern schools to pay attention to Cox Jr., whose list of offers includes Miami, North Carolina, Michigan State, West Virginia, Iowa, Louisville, and Florida.
Is resentment from his dad’s departure driving Casullo to deny SU’s interest in Cox? The Fizz never blindly believes everything from the recruiting services, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Too many sources have confirmed that Syracuse is recruiting Cox to believe otherwise, regardless of what his head coach had to say.
Posted: Andrew Kanell
Photo Cred: 247Sports.com