- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Coaching changes have shaken up recruiting this week, and it’s no different with the firing of Southern Miss head coach Ellis Johnson. Former Golden Eagles commitment James Cox (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Northridge) has decided to reopen his recruitment.
“I felt like Coach Johnson was a big part of getting me down there, and with him leaving, I felt like it was just best for me to reopen my recruitment until they’ve got things situated down there with the new coach,” Cox said. “I’m not saying I’m not going to still go to Southern Miss.”
The USM coaching staff reached out to Cox this week and said one of the names being considered is North Carolina offensive coordinator Blake Anderson, who coached at Southern Miss last year.
Now that he’s decommitted, Cox said he’s going to look at Arizona State, Arkansas, Central Florida and Cincinnati. Also, Purdue has contacted the three-star wide receiver this week and said they plan to come down and see him next weekend.
Of the viable options, three are without a head coach.
“It is kind of tough,” Cox said. “That’s the reason I haven’t committed to a few of those schools because of that situation right there. It’s kind of hard to commit to a school when you don’t know who you’re going to play for. It’s subject to change when you get there, but going in, you want to know who you’re going to play for.”
Former Alabama offensive coordinator and Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain called Cox on Tuesday.