Originally published Feb. 7, 2008 in the Omaha World-Herald
Did you know?
The son of NU offensive line coach Barney Cotton, Ben was once an Iowa State commit when his dad was on the Cyclones staff. He was also a Louisville commit until Barney was named to the NU staff. Barney helped out on the coaching staff at Ames High, something Ben called "an exciting time."
"He's a talented kid with a great work ethic. He does everything that every coach asks of him." -- Bruce Vertanen, Ames High coach
The gurus say
A three-star prospect according to rivals.com, some believe his ability will really start to show itself when some weight is added to his slender frame. Vertanene believes it will be better for Cotton, a four-sport athlete in Iowa, to get to NU in shape rather than beefed up. "He's a key player on an excellent basketball team right now," Vertanen said. "I think him being in shape is important right now. Pounds will come in college the correct way."
Along with Nebraska, Cotton had offers from Louisville, Wisconsin, Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas. He was the No. 2 rated prospect in the Hawkeye state behind former Nebraska commit Dan Hoch.
A year at the training table and in the weight room could be the best bet for Cotton. Although his tutelage under tight ends coach Ron Brown, and a lack of returning targets -- a combined six 2007 catches for returning tight ends, four of which came by Hunter Teafatiller -- could be Cotton's foot in the door.
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