"Ray (Raymond Cotton) transferred to Meade basically at the same time that I got here," added Coach Clelland. "This program had not won more than three games in the past six years before we got here. We went 4-6 this year, but we were three dropped passes from being 7-3. Ray really set the tone for a chance around here."
Scout.com's #20 nationally ranked QB passed for over 2, 300 yards, rushed for another 700, and totaled 35 TD's on the season. Cotton will play in the Offense/Defense All-American bowl in January.
"First and foremost, he is a very good leader on the field. He had to learn a new offense, and he was able to grasp it and run it very well. I have never seen a QB pick up so quickly on a new system. Ray is a very intelligent QB. But what catches everyone's eyes is his athleticism. He is so athletic for a QB. There are not too many guys who can do the things he can do at QB. Ray is what you want. He is 6' 5", 220 and can run a 4.5 forty. He can throw the ball 80 yards in the air, and he can throw it with touch. He has it all. There is nothing the kid can't do."
Raymond has all of the intangibles to become a big time QB on the next level, but Coach Clelland knows his pupil still has room to grow.
"He just needs to become a better all around QB. Ray is very typical of most of the kids in high school. He is use to being the best athlete on the field, but being the best athlete is not good enough. Everyone in the SEC or even schools in the ACC has kids who were the best athlete on the field when they were in high school. Ray is going to have to learn his position and be coached up, just like anyone coming out of high school."
Cotton committed to Auburn before he moved from Mobile (AL) to Maryland last summer, but now that Coach Tuberville is no longer around, the water looks to be a little murky.
"Obviously, he was committed to Auburn, and they are still very high on his list, but they do not have a head coach yet. Ray just wants to look around and take some visits."
"Arkansas was in here last night, and I think they are setting something up in January. He goes to Ole Miss, I believe, the second weekend of January. He is also looking at USM, Oklahoma State, Missouri, and Florida. He will visit all of those schools in January."
What got Raymond interested in Ole Miss?
"The first thing for him is the location. He has a lot of family from Kosciusko (MS) and Mobile (AL). His father was transferred up here (in the military) so he wants to get back down to the deep south. Raymond really wants to get back around his family. I also think he has built a comfort level with their QB coach, Kent Austin. He has been by here and Ray really likes him. Coach Nutt is also attractive for Ray."
What got the Hawgs in the picture?
"He obviously likes the staff at Arkansas. They are just starting to get to know one another, but they had an inhome visit with him last night, and it went very well. The QB coach came by, and he really likes him. It is hard because he has been committed to Auburn for the last six months, and now all of the sudden, he has to start all over again. I hate it for the kid."
Where does this leave Auburn?
"I do not know too much. I know he still has them high on his list. They kept James Willis, which is good, because that is who has been recruiting him for Auburn. They have a real good relationship. But everyone else looks to be gone off of that staff. That is going to make it hard, but he also knows that you commit to the a school and not the coaching staff. But at the same time, Auburn had to do what was in the best interest for Auburn, and Ray has to do what is in the best interest for Ray. A lot of it will depend on who they hire."