Bryce Cottrell could the edge rusher Texas needed to complete the 2012 class. (Photo Courtesy of PlanoWestFootball.org)
Name: Bryce Cottrell
Position: Defensive End
School: Plano West High School
Ranking (Rivals): Three out of five (5.7)
- Texas (committed 2/26/2011)
- Arizona State
- Boston College
- Mississippi State
- San Jose State
- Southern Methodist
- Wake Forest
My take: Pretty good offer list for a 2 star recruit ESPNU. Cottrell committed to Oregon in October, and was steadfast in his commitment until Texas showed interest. Even after a Texas offer, and an official visit to the 40 Acres, Cottrell still wasn't sure. He was truly conflicted.
As with many late recruitments, Cottrell's saga had plenty of twist and turns. Cottrell told a Oregon 247 Sports reporter that he was sticking with Oregon via a 3 am text. The text was sent while Cottrell was on his official visit to Texas. However,Cottrell completed his 3 day official visit and returned home to discuss his college decision with his family. On Monday night, Cottrell committed to Texas.
When I learned on Monday morning that Cottrell had returned home with Texas letter of intent papers, I knew it was a good sign. I felt that Mack Brown had closed another in state recruit. Texas went 3 for 3 with their final official visitors. A feat that likely won't be matched in the Mack Brown Era. Flipping Cottrell was no easy task as Oregon gave him an excellent hard sell during their final in home visit. Well done Texas staff.
Proximity to his family, Texas ties, and the chance to play for Manny Diaz won the day here.
Many Texas fans were clamoring for a true edge rusher in this class, and wondered if Cottrell was the best option. After Mario Edwards cut Texas from his list, and Texas tried unsuccessfully to make a final run at Torshiro Davis, the defensive staff focused on Cottrell.
Cottrell is rated as a 3 star recruit by 247 Sports, Rivals and Scout. Cottrell is #70 on the final Rivals LSR 100.
bryce cottrell senior highlight (via planowest12345)
A 3-4 scheme outside backer, Cottrell can play up on the line in a 2 or 3 point stance or drop into coverage effectively. An active player against the run, particularly chasing down ball carrier from a weak side technique. Has good height and muscular build with plenty of room for growth. Improved upper body strength will benefit his ability to stand his ground and create more separation when up on the line in college. Diagnosis run but we would like to see more assertiveness in his decision making at point of attack to become more of a sure tackler. Not assertive getting downhill. Shows adequate pursuit down the line, moving laterally with good short area quickness. His get-off when up on the line is quick, particularly his first 2 steps up-field. We don't see an explosive burst to be an elite speed rusher at this time and will need to add to his pass rush arsenal to be productive against bigger, stronger OT. Will take on pulling blocker, dipping shoulder to spill and re-direct running back but tends to be hesitant and this area is very inconsistent. Flashes adequate strength to engage with blocker, shooting hands to gain separation and occasionally rip off block to wrap up RB. Has good hands and range sideline-to-sideline. Exhibits the patience to read QB and accelerate to drag down and limit QB scramble. Has the recovery speed to track down an intermediate range pass. In coverage, can get depth to the flat/curl zone, displaying a quick burst to jump route or high/low routes. When receiver breaks cushion in man coverage, can transition flipping hips to run with slot receiver but shows some tension in hips. Overall, Cottrell has good upside and physical tools develop into the outside linebacker position. With refinement of technique, improved read and recognition skills and coverage experience he could grow into a solid BCS level player.
I personally like the Cottrell quite a bit. Cottrell's head coach at Plano West has compared him to Jackson Jeffcoat. In fact, the Jeffcoats and Cottrells are friendly. He has also been compared to a more athletic Dravannti Johnson. I have to disagree with the Dr. Johnson comparison. While Johnson and Cottrell have similar frames, I think the comparison stops there. Cottrell reminds me of Sam Acho. Similar frames, motors, and speed. I'm not saying Cottrell will someday be a 3rd Round NFL Draft pick, but the upside is there.
Cottrell had respectable numbers as a senior on a disappointing Plano West team. 80 + tackles, 15 + TFLs and 5 sacks. He moved around a lot on the West's defense, and was asked to other things than rush the passer.
I really liked his senior film from Rivals. On one particularly impressive sequence, Cottrell takes on a block, chases down the ball carrier running to the opposite side, and takes him down for a loss. That's a big league play for a high school senior.
When Cottrell was asked to rush the passer, I saw a good first step, and nice burst into the back field. Cottrell isn't shy about hitting as most of tackles are are aggressive and hard. I believe this take will begin to grow on Texas fans as he spends time in the Texas program.
Cottrell should redshirt as a freshman, but he might play early if more veteran players in front of him don't take the next step. If his listed weight is legit, I think Cottrell can play a hybrid pass rushing position as a freshman. I believe he will eventually grow into a 250 pound + WDE.
Taking Cottrell now is the smart play. He will have a year in the program under his belt when possible depth problems at DE could hit Texas in 2013. Additionally, the top DEs in the 2013 class will be long and difficult recruitments. Lawton, OK DE D.J. Ward has expressed little interest in Texas thus far, and Lancaster DE Daeshon Hall is originally from Washington. The Huskies just added the best DL recruiter in the country to their staff Tosh Lupoi. You better believe he knows about Hall.
The Texas coaches hope that Cottrell addresses their edge rusher need in the 2012 class. At some point you have to close your eyes and trust Manny Diaz. He's certainly earned it. Hook 'Em.