Cotton Impresses Sunday

One of 17 Texas Longhorn commits on hand Sunday for the first mini-camp was Alief Taylor defensive tackle De'Aires Cotton. The 6-4, 287-pounder made his mark on Sunday as he was the only DT to compete in drills as fellow DT commit Taylor Bible was present but is still nursing his shoulder injury. Burnt Orange Beat spoke with Cotton about his mini-camp.

Alief Taylor defensive tackle De'Aires Cotton headed to the Texas mini-camp on Sunday with dominating on his mind. The camp was going to be fun, but at the same time a chance for the 6-4, 287-pounder to show the improvements made in the spring.

As expected, the focused defensive tackle said the camp went well.

"It went real good," Cotton said. "It was hot, but besides that, it wasn't bad. I got to go up against some guys and I got to meet some commits I hadn't met before."

The camp began with a talk from head coach Mack Brown, followed with a move to the practice fields for drills before taking a break for lunch. After lunch was time for one on one's, which is always the favorite of players.

"I went up against Dominic Espinosa when we went one on one's. I got him on the first one with a swim move. I killed on pass rush. I got a lot of respect from that. I lined up over the nose and then I went to the three tech," Cotton said.

As is the case with all positions, the assistant coaches are teaching during and in between each rep. The 2008 first team all-district pick said Coach Tolleson hit on one key area to work on.

"I just really learned how to bring my hips more off the snap and have more power with my first couple of steps," Cotton said.

One future teammate that Cotton has become good friends with is Denton Guyer defensive tackle Taylor Bible. Cotton said Sunday was a chance to continue to build a bond with other committed players.

"I got the chance to talk with some of the committed guys. Taylor and I talked the whole time. We stay in contact with each other and have become good friends," Cotton said.

Even though Cotton was busy at his defensive tackle position, he did get a chance to take a look at his future teammates at defensive end.

"I watched the defensive ends a little. They are really good. We should have a really good defensive line. I want to watch Connor and Colt's brother, but the quarterbacks were in the bubble," Cotton said.

Cotton, who has received offers from Miami and UCLA among others since committing to Texas, says he will stay in contact with the Texas coaches and grind in the weight room the rest of the summer as he prepares for his senior season.

"I'll be talking to Coach Tolleson and Coach Giles and grinding in the weight room this summer. I call the coaches once a week to see how things are going. I'm working out three times a day. I'm in the weight room from 8-10 AM, run in the afternoons, and lift some weights around 8pm," Cotton said.

The latest in a long line of talented prospects out of Alief I.S.D picked the Longhorns over offers from Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Nebraska and Oklahoma State on February 8.

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