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Friday, July 19, 2013
Local 2015 OL checks in at Tide's camp

By Greg Ostendorf

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Last month, 2015 offensive lineman Lester Cotton (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Central) seemingly popped up out of nowhere, right in Alabama’s backyard. The local prospect attended the Crimson Tide’s first camp and earned himself an offer.

“When I first got there, I was just going to do my job, go out there and play,” Cotton said. “I didn’t really think that I would get offered. I was just out there playing. I tried to be better than my opponent, because you never know who you’re going against.

“Coach [Nick] Saban was watching me. He was telling me to do this, to do that. I was doing it. He had me play tackle, and then he made me play guard to see which one I’ll play.”

Since Alabama extended an offer, Cotton also added one from Mississippi State. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound lineman plans to camp at Ole Miss this weekend and Auburn the next in hopes of adding two more SEC offers.

On Monday, he checked in at the Tide’s camp. He didn’t participate, just watched.

“It was good,” Cotton said. “All of the coaches were speaking to me. I spoke to Coach Saban again, and he was saying that he was going to talk to me soon. He told me that they were going to call me either next week or the week after.”

It was also another chance for Cotton to see new UA offensive line coach Mario Cristobal. The two worked together at Alabama’s first camp as well as the OL/DL camp later that month.

“He’s real, real cool,” Cotton said. “I like him. I like the way he coaches. He likes to have fun. He’s not the type of coach that if you mess up, then the world is just over. He likes to go step-by-step. If you feel like you’re doing it right, he’ll tell you. He’ll be honest and tell you if you’re doing it wrong or right.”

Last month, Cotton made headlines when he tweeted that he would commit to Alabama -- not right then -- but down the road. The in-state star hasn’t backed off that prediction. He still insists that he’ll commit to the Tide at some point.

For now, he’s concentrating on the upcoming camps and his junior season.

“I’m not focusing on it right now, because I’ve got a team and I’m trying to win a state championship,” Cotton said. “I’ll just push that to the side until football season is over.”