LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Brian Cobb didn't need validation that he has totally recovered from the knee he injured his senior year at Lakewood Ranch.
But he got it in the best way possible.
Eckerd College, which had pursued him before he tore the anterior cruciate ligament the summer before his senior year, offered him a scholarship this week.
Cobb verbally committed Thursday, and the 6-foot-6, 225-pound forward said he expects to sign next week.
Cobb needed surgery to repair his knee. It cost him nearly the entire basketball season and schools that were pursuing him turned the other way.
Cobb played for State College of Florida last season and turned in a solid job helping the Manatees reach the state tournament.
"I chose Eckerd because it has a great campus and a winning basketball program. It's close to home, and my family can come and watch me play," Cobb said. "Eckerd recruited me in high school and kept in touch with me. It makes more sense for me to go to a four-year school now instead of waiting another year because I am academically eligible. Now I have a whole extra year to know the system and the guys."
Cobb said he was offered by Mars Hill College in North Carolina and Limestone College in South Carolina. Eckerd head coach Tom Ryan made the offer after those two schools, the 20-year-old said.
"I wanted to go to a four-year school out of high school, but the experience I got at SCF was great. We played a fast, up-tempo game, and it definitely helped me with my defense," Cobb said. "My knee was maybe a little gimpy at the beginning of last season, but I am one-hundred percent now. Coach Ryan said he would use me as a post player, but their offense allows me to shoot outside shots."
Last season, Eckerd qualified for the NCAA Division II national tournament for the second straight time and 11th overall. Eckerd finished 20-8 and was 11-5 in the Sunshine State Conference.