Ben Cotton's recruitment winding down

Ben Cotton, a four-star tight end from Ames, Iowa, participated at Louisville's quarterback/wide receiver camp Sunday. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Cotton is down to three schools: Louisville, Iowa and Wisconsin and plans to make a decision soon. What are Louisville's chances? has the latest.

Ben Cotton, a four-star tight end prospect from Ames, Iowa, participated in Louisville's quarterback/wide receiver camp Sunday at the U of L football complex.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Cotton has narrowed his list down to a trio of finalists: Louisville, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Cotton told Sunday following Louisville's camp that he's planning to make a decision the first week of July. Having already visited Louisville, Cotton will attend both Iowa (June 13) and Wisconsin's (June 25) camps later this month before he sits down with his parents to make a decision.

"I guess my recruitment is starting to narrow down," Cotton said. "I want to get my decision out of the way so I don't have to worry about it during my senior year and I can just play football."

Has a leader emerged yet for Cotton? If one has, Cotton isn't saying.

"Each of the three schools has a good chance, but I don't have a favorite right now," he said. "Louisville definitely impressed me this weekend. I liked everything that I saw while I was there." As for his time in Louisville, Cotton seemed to enjoy the visit thoroughly.

"It was a really great camp. I had a great time," said Cotton. "We left Ames Friday night and got to Louisville Saturday afternoon. I got to talk with the coaches and the strength and conditioning staff. I met with Coach Kragthrorpe in between (camp) sessions today and he wanted to give me his thoughts on playing at Louisville.

"We also took a visit around campus and saw Betty Johnson Hall where the football players live. It was very impressive and I liked it a lot, which was a good thing. I've watched Louisville play on TV and I really like how they play and use the tight end."

Cotton spent Sunday morning working out with Louisville tight end coach Greg Nord. He showed advanced ball skills, good footwork and soft hands during drill work and moved well for a big man while running pass routes during passing drills.

"I like to get my hands on the ball, but half the fun of playing tight end is blocking and I like that aspect, too," he said.

The son of former Iowa State offensive coordinator Barney Cotton, Cotton has a connection with Louisville. While serving under Dan McCarney at Iowa State, Cotton's father coached with current Louisville assistant Tony Alford. That relationship has helped establish the Cardinals as one of the favorites in Cotton's recruitment.

"I love Coach Alford to death," Cotton said. "I have a great relationship with him and him being at Louisville has made me feel really comfortable with the situation there."

With his camp experience at Louisville now complete, Cotton heads back home to Ames with a clear idea of what the Louisville program is all about. After visiting Iowa and Wisconsin later this month, Cotton should have a enough information to compare his three finalists and make a decision early next month.

"Location is obviously not a factor for me with my dad looking to take a new coaching job next season," Cotton said. "I want to go somewhere where I can maximize my potential on the field and also get a good education. Those are the two biggest factors."

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