Sources: Georgia LB Cox enters transfer portal

Georgia outside linebacker Brenton Cox, a former five-star recruit who was battling for a starting job this season, has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal, sources told ESPN on Monday.

Cox played in 13 of 14 games last season and finished with 20 tackles. He had a career-high six tackles in Georgia's 28-21 loss to Texas in the Allstate Sugar Bowl after starting in place of injured starter D'Andre Walker.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart didn't immediately respond to text messages from ESPN.

Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning was asked about Cox's role this coming season during a news conference on Monday. He told the reporter: "That's a good question. I would actually leave that up to Coach Smart at this time."

Cox wasn't at Georgia's practice on Monday. UGA officials declined to address his status with the team.

Cox, a sophomore from Atlanta, was arrested in April, along with Bulldogs linebacker Robert Beal, on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession. Under Georgia Athletic Association policy, they face a one-game suspension when the No. 3 Bulldogs open the season at Vanderbilt on Aug. 31 (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network).

Cox was the No. 11 prospect overall in the 2018 ESPN 300 and the No. 5 defensive end nationally and No. 3 prospect in Georgia.

The Bulldogs have several returning highly recruited outside linebackers, including Beal, redshirt freshman Azeez Ojulari, sophomore Adam Anderson, junior Walter Grant, junior-college transfer Jermaine Johnson and freshman Nolan Smith, the No. 2 prospect in the 2019 ESPN 300.

If Cox transfers from Georgia, he would be the second projected starter to leave the Bulldogs in as many months. Wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman was kicked off the team on June 21 after a UGA Police incident report indicated that he admitted assaulting a woman during an incident in 2018.