Texas targeting Cotton in 2010

The Texas Longhorns are busy evaluating junior prospects from around the state of Texas. With the first junior day three and half months away, some of the targets for the Longhorns are beginning to appear. One of the players likely to receive an offer is Alief Taylor defensive tackle De'Aires Cotton.

The Texas Longhorns are making the defensive tackle position a priority in recruiting in the 2009 and 2010 classes. The in state junior class of defensive tackles has more depth than in recent years with a number of prospects with a handful of offers from Big 12 programs already in hand. One of the top tackle prospects is De'Aires Cotton of Alief Taylor. The 6-3.5, 285-pounder has earned the reputation as a run stuffer with a naturally strong lower body and developing upper body and technique.

With the ability to stuff the run, improved technique as a junior and the frame to carry 300-pounds, college programs have taken notice resulting in a pair of Big 12 offers with two more on the horizon.

"I've received offers from Nebraska and Oklahoma," Cotton said. "Texas coach Oscar Giles was by the school a few days ago and told my coach that I've been approved for offer, but they don't officially offer until February. Coach [Van] Malone at Texas A&M told me I will be offered too."

With offers in hand and more to come, deciding on which junior days to take in will be the next portion of the process for the Houston area junior star.

"I know I'm going to LSU junior day on January 31. They have invited me. I'm not sure what others I'll go to yet. I went to junior days last year at Texas A&M and Texas even though I was a sophomore. I also went to Texas three-day camp and learned things I didn't know about," Cotton said.

With offers on the table and future offers to be made, Cotton already has a good idea of a trio of programs that stand out. The probable all-district selection says he's not going to a school because of the name of the program, but the feel he gets upon visiting.

"I have to say that Texas A&M, OU and Texas stand out. I've always wanted to go to one of those schools. I really want to take unofficial visits and be comfortable with a school. I don't want to just go to a program because of the name, but want to find a place that feels like home because it will be my home," Cotton said.

Alief Taylor had their season come to an abrupt end last night at the hands of a 10-1 Cinco Ranch team 50-14. Taylor finished the season 6-4, but the loss left a bad taste in Cotton's mouth as the Lions committed eight turnovers in the first round playoff loss.

"It was a bad game. We battled, but it was bad," Cotton said with frustration in his voice.

The strong-bodied tackle says he made improvements from his sophomore to junior season and is ready to begin off-season and get stronger and faster.

"I think I've grown a lot this year. Being my junior year, I was faster, stronger and stayed lower. By playing lower, I split double teams more and was able to get across the face of offensive lineman. I'm looking forward to the off-season. I want to get stronger and faster to be better than ever my senior year." Cotton said.

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