LSU coach Ed Orgeron likes big, versatile defensive linemen who can play both inside or outside in any down or distance.
He also likes signing Blue Chip players from north Louisiana, which has become a bit of a hotbed for Alabama in years past.
Turns out, Orgeron has been able to kill two birds with one stone in the Class of 2018 in Evangel defensive lineman Davin Cotton
The Tigers got a commitment from Cotton on Feb. 18, 2017, which marked one of the biggest gets for LSU so far in the class – a big-time position of need for the Tigers going into the future.
Cotton stands 6-foot, 2-inches tall and weighs 270 pounds. He projects as a defensive tackle, but scouts believe he can also be a run-stopping defensive end in a 3-4 defense if called to do so at the next level.
He chose LSU over offers from some of the top programs in the country, including Alabama.
Cotton said his pick was made because LSU felt like family. He committed with Evangel teammates Micah Baskerville and Ar’Darius Washington, who are both also headed to LSU.
“It’s the place we all wanted to be,” Cotton said during the summer when asked to talk about his commitment. “LSU is a great place. They have great coaches, awesome fans and they play at a high level year-in and year-out. I think that once it got down to it, I knew it was the place for me.”
Cotton is a dominating presence along the defensive line for one of the top high school programs in the entire country.
He’s seen playing time since his sophomore season for Evangel, recording 51 tackles and three sacks in 2015 as a sophomore, which also included 14 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles and a pick-six.
After that 2015 success, Cotton exploded to the top of recruiting boards in 2016 as a junior, recording a whopping 14 sacks, while also leading his team to the Division I State Championship.
It was around that time that offers started to pour in for Cotton, who figures to weigh well more than 300 pounds of muscle once added to a college-level weight and conditioning program.
His coach, Byron Dawson, said that Alabama was the first school to offer Cotton, but the lineman chose not to publicize the offer because he didn’t want to bring attention onto himself.
LSU’s offer came at the ‘Boys From the Boot’ event the Tigers put on annually and he’s been a Tiger at heart ever since, routinely retweeting pro-LSU messages he’s tagged in from other sources.
“He’s a hard worker,” Dawson said before the 2017 season. “He is going to be quite an attractive player at the next level because he’s going to commit himself to being as good of a player as he can possibly become. He’s that type of kid. He is a good one – both on and off the field.”
Cotton’s senior season didn’t go quite according to plan.
After the huge sack totals and title in 2016, Evangel had high hopes for the powerful lineman in 2017, but fate had other plans, as Cotton tore his ACL in the opening weeks of the season – an ailment which caused him to miss almost all of the season.
LSU has stayed with Cotton through the injury and the Tigers will honor their scholarship offer to him in hopes of a full recovery, which is expected.
Cotton is still not yet cleared to compete, but he’s been able to do much more in his rehab in recent weeks and he’s expected to be fully available to once he reports to the team.
“My only focus is on getting better and doing everything that I can to be as good of a player as I can possibly be,” Cotton said “I don’t want to have any regrets. I want to keep progressing, keep moving forward and do my best to make sure that I can have as big an impact as I can have for my team.”
Cotton is one of five defensive linemen committed in the Class of 2017.
He joins defensive tackle Dominic Livingston (Houston, Texas), defensive tackle Dare Rosenthal (Ferriday), defensive end Jarell Cherry (Dallas, Texas) and defensive tackle Nelson Jenkins (Plaquemine).
Image: Sarah Amacker