Alief Taylor's De'Aires Cotton may have garnered the most attention early on. The 6-4, 275-pound tackle prospect played a part time role as a sophomore for the Lions and entered the 2008 season as a junior prospect with more than a dozen programs were keeping tabs on.
This year, Cotton backed up the potential with solid, consistent play culminating with a recent 18-5A first team all-district selection. With the consistent and productive play, the strong-bodied junior began receiving scholarship offers from various Big 12 programs.
Headed into January, the #32 prospect in Texas in the junior class has received offers from Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Nebraska with an offer on the way February 8 from the Texas Longhorns.
Alief Taylor head coach Trevor White said on Tuesday during the Lions athletic period that Cotton had a very good season and the staff has high hopes for his senior season.
"De'Aires had a very good year for us," White said. "He really improved and came on for us. He plays with good leverage, gets good extension with the arms and hands, he's got good feet and he gets off blocks extremely well. One of the things is that he's an aggressive kid and a thing I'll ask him to do next year is play more laterally at the line of scrimmage. Do some squeezing. One other thing we are going to ask him to do is tie up and demand some double teams. Work on some gap control. He's done a tremendous job for us," White concluded.
With the increased understanding of the position and learning to play different technique, the question of where Cotton will play on the next level comes to mind as well as what type of scheme he fits into. Cotton has the ability to play a number of techniques from zero to three, but Coach White sees his star pupil as a three technique on the next level.
"I think he'll play a three. That's probably where he'll best be suited because he's athletic enough to expand with a gap as opposed to a zero tech where he's working to plug. I think he can do that (zero), but he has the ability to move laterally and make plays. He actually played some five tech this year for us, so he's played the nose, the three and some five. Programs that play an even and odd front are recruiting him. In an even front, he'll probably project as a three." White said.