FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas is in the Top 8 for Milton (Fla.) High School Class of 2023 four-star wide receiver Raymond Cottrell.
Cottrell, 6-3, 205, has, in addition to Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Miami (Fla.) and Tennessee in his Top 8.
Cottrell started as a true freshman for Milton last fall as the Panthers finished 5-5. They were set to open the 2020 season on Friday at Navarre (Fla.) High School, but that has been changed.
“The game Friday, but the hurricane came through and it got canceled,” Cottrell said.
Because of COVID-19 the team was already scheduled to start the season a few week’s later than normal and now the weather hit. Cottrell talked about how he has handled all the setbacks to the season thus far.
“I really just try to focus on the big things,” Cottrell said. “Just make sure I don’t get sick and make sure my teammates don’t get sick really. Just keeps practicing and be a leader.”
Cottrell is obviously very mature beyond his age. In 2019 as a true freshman, Cottrell rushed 11 times for 99 yards and caught 22 passes for 274 yards and four touchdowns. He returned 15 kickoffs for 244 yards including an 81-yard touchdown. He also had a rushing two-point conversion.
He is being recruited by Arkansas’ Scott Fountain who recruits part of The Sunshine State.
“He is a good person, a good guy and treats you like family,” Cottrell said. “Like a father-figure really.”
Cottrell is rated a four-star recruit with 247Sports. Elite Sports Recruiting Service rates him the No. 4 wide receiver in the nation in 2023.
He talked about his strengths on the field and also the one area he feels he needs to improve in the most.
“Effort,” Cottrell said. “And what I do after the play. I mean anybody can catch the ball. It’s about what you do after the play.
“I definitely need to work on my route running. I just need to get them a little more crisp.”
While college is in the future for him he already has an idea of what he is looking for in a school.
“I mean to be honest it could be any place I feel home at,” Cottrell said.
Being a year older and some good players returning from last year’s squad, Cottrell has high expectations for the 2020 season.
“Our team has really, really been working hard this offseason,” Cottrell said. “We know as a team we are going to try to win state this year.”
Cottrell said the team is versatile on offense. Last year’s team passed for 1,297 yards and rushed for another 1,530 yards.
“I like the spread and give me the ball,” Cottrell said.
Cottrell said he would like Kendal Briles offense at Arkansas. Briles brought the tempo and spread from Florida State.
It now appears his opening game will be Friday, Sept. 25, at Gulf Breeze (Fla.) High School with a 7:30 start.