For someone his age, I wouldn't say Sam Cotton was a small kid. But you compare him to his older brothers Jake, who comes in at 6-6, 275 lbs. and Ben, who is the same height and weighs 255 lbs., would Sam follow the genetic path seemingly entrenched before him?
It would seem that way.
"I'm about 6-4 right now and I weigh 235 lbs.," said Cotton, who obviously be one of the in-state prospects for the class of 2012.
Like Ben, Sam is playing tight end, which he is being recruited to play by Nebraska. And he wouldn't mind if he got a little closer to his brothers when it came to his final size. "Yeah, I wouldn't mind adding a couple of inches. I'm kind of hoping I do, anyway," he said.
Sam attended Junior Days in Lincoln last week, and I have to admit, I didn't have any questions for him. I mean, what do you ask a young man about his visit when he lives in the same town, has two brothers who play on the team and his dad happens to be an assistant coach with that team, as well?
Is there anything he can see or learn that he doesn't already know?
"Nope, I pretty much know where everything is at there. I don't know that I haven't seen anything I'd be interested in looking at," Cotton said.
There is one thing, though. John Garrison, a former Husker offensive lineman and a volunteer with the team the last two years, has been given a paying job, now coaching the interior line as well as the tight ends. Ron Brown, the coach who oversaw that position last year, has moved to coaching the running backs. Garrison wasn't the sexiest pick as one of the new assistants, but you won't hear Sam complaining. "I really like him. He seems a lot like my dad in how he does stuff. I guess that makes sense seeing as he's been there a while. But I think he's a good coach," he said.
Another funny thing about taking visits to the school is that when his brothers are around, it's brothers being brothers. "Oh yeah, it's just like being anywhere else together. It's more a social thing than it is anything else," he said.
As for the prospect of playing for the Huskers, and the potential recruiting, Sam said that really hasn't come up. "They said that the recruiting process really hasn't even begun right now. They are looking at what they have and what they need for next year," he said. "I'm not too worried about it right now though. I have a lot of stuff I can be working on to get better, and getting ready for next year."
The Huskers are obviously going to have to get a tight end in this class, as they missed on all of the tight ends they were after last season. If this Cotton proves true to the growth spurt of his older brothers, Sam is still going to be growing, and he obviously has the similar athleticism.
He projects to be a little different than Ben, who is obviously a solid pass catching tight end, but is more of a midfield threat in addition to be an outstanding blocker. Depending on how much more size Sam does add, he might be able to stretch the field a bit more.
But it's pretty obvious that this Cotton has grown into the role of another potential future Husker. Now we just have to wait and see.