Scout.com's #21 nationally rated quarterback had a chance to take in an official visit to the University of Mississippi this weekend.
The Cotton family is actually from Kosciusko (MS) so Raymond Sr has seen plenty of the Ole Miss campus.
"We use to go over there during the 80's. We are very familiar with the surroundings of that campus as well as the State of Mississippi. I actually have another son who is a junior that wants to be a doctor, and I am taking him and Ray back over to Ole Miss before or shortly after signing day for him to get a good look at the campus."
One of Raymond's aunts left the Ole Miss campus more than impressed.
"She would kill me if I gave you her name, so I am not going to do that, but lets just say that she called me when she left the campus and said she made a mistake by not going to Ole Miss. She was very/very impressed with it over there as was my other sister."
More importantly, what were Raymond Jr's thoughts on Ole Miss?
"He really enjoyed his visit. Everything that needed to be seen, he saw it. Everything that he needed to hear, he heard it. He will probably take this all the way to signing day. We have an opportunity to bring a lot of morale on our (military) base, and we are going to have a press conference on national signing day, but the school he is going to commit to will know well ahead of time. We will let them probably know within the week. This will be big for his high school and our base. We have a lot of people on our base who have lost a lot of love ones with everything that is going on in the middle east. We think this would be a great opportunity to lift the spirits over here because Ray is known by so many people over here."
What stood out about his Ole Miss visit?
"Ray and I were on the phone throughout the weekend, and we text each other back and forth. The thing that stood out about Ole Miss for Ray is how comfortable he was with the coaches and just the atmosphere around that campus. He said it felt like home away from home. That is a big part of every kid's decision. Are they going to make me feel like I am at home? He told me that he just felt real comfortable with the whole situation over there."
Did son have any questions for dad during their conversations over the weekend?
"We stayed in constant contact, and I will make this simple, there were no questions left unanswered. Sometimes when you go on these recruiting visits you get bits and pieces of information, and you leave there with a few questions still on your mind. Ray had none of that. Every question he had was answered. The football staff and their administration did an unbelievable job of being very thorough with everything from A to Z."
Ole Miss is still out on Christmas break but the lack of students and players on campus did not phase Ray.
"Coach Austin had that concern that they were bringing him in at a bad time, but we told him that Ray was very grounded, and he did not care if the students were out. We know the Trahan family back from their days when Patrick was at Auburn, so Patrick Trahan came back to campus and showed him around this weekend. He took Ray bowling and did some other things with Ray. Jevan Snead was not there, but he called Ray over the weekend and answered each question that Ray had. I want to also point out what a wonderful job Coach Austin did with Ray this weekend. He left no stones unturned. He is one of the brightest individuals I have ever run across. Ray is crazy about Coach Austin. They have built a special relationship."
What is left on the recruiting docket?
"Ray still has Ole Miss, USM, MSU, KSU, and Auburn on his list. Not in any order. We are pretty sure he is going to visit Kansas State now. Those five schools will be the five hats he will have in front of him at his press conference. He goes to Southern Mississippi next weekend and Kansas State the weekend after. If he decides to take a last visit, it will be to Mississippi State on the 30th of January. Ray will give a solid verbal within the week, and then we will call the other four schools to let them know of his decision so they can go ahead and continue to recruit some more quarterbacks. We do not want to keep their hands tied, so we need to let everyone know very soon what his decision is going to be. On signing day, we will let the public know of his decision."