Sunday, May 25, 2008

Google surveys the recruits: Raymond Cotton

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, which is awesome in that a) veterans b) holiday c) seriously, veterans.

The only thing about it that might be less than awesome is that it's the deadest possible period of the college football year. The season is still nearly three agonizing months away; Signing Day is rapidly fading into the rearview mirror; spring ball is done and dusted. What's a college football blogger who's looking to swing back into the, uh, swing of things to do?

Well, in this case, finally dip a toe into the slimy, overheated pool that is recruiting. There's never been too much recruiting talk here at the JCCW, since I tend to take the glass-half-empty-if-this-even-is-a-glass approach--a given commit can jump through each of the various academic, good-behavior, and "On second thought, that football team and/or institution of higher learning looks like the one for me" hoops to arrive on campus, and it's still even money whether he'll ever play a meaningful down or not. The view here is that recruiting is mostly about putting as many bullets in the chamber as possible; the macro-level developments I can get excited about, yessir, but at the micro-level of individual commitments, I'm still mostly Eh, Whatever--particularly since Tuberville's staff seems to have such a relatively high success rate with its "flyers." I often feel more than a bit ridiculous for having invested so much in the performances of college kids playing an essentially meaningless game, so investing the slightest dollop of time and mental energy into learning about 17-year-olds who may never even play for my meaningless-game team strikes me as a perfectly good candidate for an entry in the DSM-IV.

But considering that 1. it's May. 2. as an Auburn Blogger, I should theoretically be as informed as possible 3. I would think there would be some demand on the part of some readers for someone to do the work of plugging in a given recruit's name into Google and synthesizing the tidbits of information that trickle out ... that's what the JCCW is going to do. Even if I have to shower afterwards.

In fact, there's the possibility that I'll eventually make my way through the entire class. But today, we're starting with ...

Raymond Cotton

Cotton is a 6-4, 215-pound quarterback who accounted for more than 2,100 total yards and 25 TD's in leading Mobile's Faith Academy to the AISA AAA championship game in 2007. He'll spend his senior season at Meade High School in Fort Meade, Maryland, after his father, an officer in the Coast Guard, was transferred there. He creates fun unintentional double-meanings in headlines by being both a Mobile quarterback and a mobile quarterback.

Recruitnik hoo-ha:: Rivals doesn't have a rating as of now, but Scout gives him four stars and ranks him as the #24 QB in the class--the last four-star, one spot ahead of some kid Tedford's signed to Cal, if you're the sort to enjoy such comparisons. ESPN rates him a 77, which I the recruiting n00b think means "good, not elite." They call him a "fantastic-looking prospect on the hoof," with all the physical tools "mobile 6-4, 215 QB" implies, and add he could be an especially snug fit in the Spread Eagle. But they also say that mechanics-wise, he could use more polish, in words somewhat stronger than "he could use more polish." Cotton also had offers from Kentucky, Mississippi St., Stanford (?), and Troy, but his potential in the spread is likely best exemplified by the fact that Purdue had offered as well.

Links of potential interest: The article out of Annapolis I linked above humorously overstates Cotton's accomplishments a bit, since playing in AISA AAA is not playing in a mythical "Alabama state tournament" in football or an equally mythical "Alabama state track championship" in, uh, track. Still, those third-place finishes in the 100- and 200-meter dash don't exactly mean he's slow; he ran 11.47 in the 100 and 23.45 in the 200.

For a glimpse of Cotton's demeanor and an exhibition of strength involving the first use of the word "Power Ball" I've ever heard outside of the lottery or American Gladiators, you can check out this video. Apparently, he throws the Power Ball real far. So he's got that going for him.

The recap of Faith's 35-27 loss to Bessemer Academy in the AAA title game unfortunately doesn't do much to dispel the "incredible athlete, could be a better overall quarterback" scouting report. Cotton pulled off a 45-yard run and a TD sneak, but completed just 2 of his first 10 and finished 6-14 for 70 yards with a pick.

What conclusions, if any, we might draw: If Cotton has enough potential to draw an offer from a school that's produced two consecutive record-breaking, NFL quarterbacks and is about to graduate its third (however overrated he might be), yeah, I think he's got enough potential for Auburn, too. Also: he's a 6-4, 215-pound fast guy. Those guys tend to be useful.

1 comment:

Rod said...

That powerball thing looked ridiculous. I guess it is no less ridiculous than the NFL combine stuff, though.