Ben Cotton picks Louisville

Ben Cotton, a four-star prospect and's No. 15-ranked tight end nationally, called Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe Wednesday evening and gave him some very good news.

Ben Cotton, a four-star tight end from Ames, Iowa, verbally committed to Louisville Wednesday over the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Cotton, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound standout rated as the No. 15 tight end prospect nationally, had narrowed his options to Louisville and Iowa before deciding to play in the Big East.

"I spoke with Coach (Steve) Kragthorpe, Coach (Tony) Alford and Coach (Greg) Nord Wednesday evening and told them I'm committing to Louisville," Cotton said. "Something in my heart just told me that Louisville is the right place for me."

Cotton attended both Louisville and Iowa's camps in recent weeks. He also eliminated Wisconsin from consideration recently, focusing his decision on the Cardinals and Hawkeyes.

"I first called Coach Alford and he was real excited when I told him I was committing to Louisville," said Cotton. "Coach Kragthorpe and Coach Nord both said they were jacked up by my decision and they wished I could play this year."

Cotton's father coached at Iowa State with Alford and that relationship played a role in his decision.

"I've known Coach Alford for a long time," Cotton said. "He is a good family friend. That had an effect on my decision."

Cotton said the Louisville coaches told him during the recruiting process that they'll likely sign one or two more tight end prospects in the Class of 2008.

"But they emphasized that I was one of the guys that they wanted to get," Cotton said.

Relieved to have the recruiting process behind him, Cotton will spend the rest of the summer playing baseball and looking forward to his final season of high school football.

"Now that I've made my decision, I can just go out there and play football and not have to worry about anything else," Cotton said.

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