Back from playing in the Offense-Defense Game over the weekend, Cotton Sr. says his son has decided to back away a little bit and take his time with what will be one of the biggest decisions of his life. With Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Ole Miss all in the picture in addition to the Tigers, Cotton Sr. says right now they're just trying to learn as much as possible about new offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and Auburn's new coaching staff to make an educated decision.
"He's going to hold on until the Feb. 4th signing day," Cotton Sr. says. "He's kind of got in his mind which way he's going to go. He said he may or may not come out with a final three. Coach (James) Willis is supposed to be up on Wednesday. We'll be talking to him.
"We're just going to sit and wait," he adds. "I told him just to relax and take his time. He knows what he wants to do in his mind. We'll talk to Coach Willis when he gets up here. Then he'll kind of decide if he wants to come out with a final three or not."
Very familiar with Willis because of his ties to the Mobile area before moving to Maryland, Cotton has built a strong relationship with the Auburn coach. That is something the Cottons will lean on this week as Willis makes a visit to give them updates on Auburn's new coaching staff.
"He's got to build relationships again," Cotton says. "Coach Willis is going to come up and Ray wants to hear from him about the other coaches. He wasn't comfortable enough to go out on a limb and say yea or nay because he doesn't know enough about them.
"That's one of the reasons Coach Willis is coming up so we can discuss that. I think the way it's going to work out is that when he and Ray talk, they trust each other. I trust Coach Willis. What he says about the new coaching staff is going to go a long way."
Having already visited Auburn officially, Cotton has a busy month of January scheduled with several trips set this month. While several schools have tried to get in on Cotton, right now it appears all of his upcoming visits will have a familiar destination, the Magnolia State.
"Ole Miss is coming up," Cotton Sr. notes. "He actually scratched Arkansas yesterday. We called them up and told them we wouldn't be taking a visit out there. He will be visiting Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss. Tee Martin is out at Oregon now and they're trying to get a visit out there, but I don't think that's going to happen.
Last weekend Cotton took part in the Offense-Defense Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C. While his West team didn't fare too well in a 29-3 loss, Cotton played solid in his three series at the helm. Playing sparingly, Cotton completed 7-10 passes for 65 yards in the loss.