Cottom names leader

Running back/linebacker Brandon Cottom of Council Rock High (Newtown, Pa.) says he has a leader. He holds offers from Rutgers, Syracuse and Duke, and is being recruited by a handful of other schools from the Big East and ACC. the 6-foot-2, 222-pound Cottom discusses why he put a school atop his list, and what he likes about it. He also breaks down what he knows about each of the schools to offer.

Even before Brandon Cottom had a big day at the Nike combine last week in Philadelphia, the big-bodied running back from Council Rock High (Newtown, Pa.) held a Rutgers offer.

And while the interest in the 6-foot-2, 222-pound Cottom could intensify after his performance, those programs will be up against a leader.

"Rutgers is my favorite, so far,'' Cottom. "I haven't been able to get out and see all the schools, but I'm going to Duke later this month. I'm going for a spring practice.''

Rutgers, Syracuse and Duke each offered, and Pittsburgh Connecticut, Purdue, Maryland and West Virginia are all showing strong interest.

Cottom also is being recruited by Miami, and he is contemplating a recent invitation to attend Louisville's junior day.

However, when asked why Rutgers was his leader, he was quick to answer.

"I like the feeling up there,'' said Cottom, who attended Rutgers' junior day. "I like the atmosphere of the school. I like the coaches a lot. I got a chance to sit down with some of the players, meet some of the players. They were real friendly. I could see myself with that type of team.''

The January junior taught Cottom plenty about Rutgers, which is less than an hour from his home.

"I learned a lot about their coach (Greg Schiano),'' Cottom said. "I learned a lot about their academics, and how they have a lot of academic support there. I also learned a lot about their team, and how they stick together. They're very unified.''

Cottom can play linebacker as well, but the Scarlet Knights are recruiting him as a running back, which is his desire.

"I would prefer to play running back,'' he said. "I just like having the ball in my hands. I feel more comfortable on the offensive side of the ball. I feel I'm a better player on the offensive side of the ball, and I could do more for the team with the ball in my hands.''

Cottom rushed for approximately 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior, and he believes his size makes him a dual-threat runner.

"It benefits me because I'm a lot harder to tackle than most backs,'' he said. "I'm a lot more powerful, but I have the speed and agility to make people miss.''

Cottom also attended Syracuse's junior day, and gave his impressions of the school.

"It was very nice up there,'' he said. "They have nice facilities. We got to catch the Villanova (basketball) game and saw the student body. They were real nice. It was a nice campus. I like he coaches a lot.''

When Cottom travels to Durham, N.C., for Duke's junior day, it will be his first time to the campus.

"I actually, to be honest, don't know much about Duke,'' Cottom said. "I just know they're a really good academic school.''

Cottom said he plans on committing to a school before the start of his senior season.

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