Fort Meade (Fla.) Meade four-star quarterback Raymond Cotton has decommitted from Auburn, his father Raymond Cotton, Sr. said Monday.
Cotton’s decision came moments after he learned Auburn coach and his area recruiter James Willis was informed he would no longer be coaching on the Plains.
Auburn hired Gene Chizik Saturday to replace Tommy Tuberville. Willis and the other Tiger assistants who had stayed on to help the Tigers recruit during the search were informed to look for new jobs Sunday night.
That was the last straw, said Cotton, Sr.
“I just talked to James Willis and he was let go,” said Cotton, Sr. “Coach Willis got let go and Raymond had built a good relationship with him and all of the guys that were down there. None of those guys are there anymore. He’s going to look elsewhere.”
Cotton, Sr. said Willis was integral in keeping his son committed to the Tigers during Auburn’s coaching search. But with Willis now gone, so is his son’s commitment.
“He was going to allow Coach Willis to come up here, but Coach Willis was let go. Everyone Raymond had built a relationship with Auburn was let go,” said Cotton, Sr. “He’s now going to take his commitment elsewhere.”
Auburn coach Phillip Lolley, also the director of NFL relations at AU, called the Cottons Monday morning in an effort to set up an in-home visit from Chizik.
That likely won’t happen, Cotton, Sr. said.
“Coach Lolley called and was trying to set up a visit for Coach Chizik. Coach Chizik wanted to come up and speak with Ray, but I let them know he was decommitting from Auburn today.”
Cotton, Sr. told AuburnSports.com Sunday that he nor his son were impressed with the Chizik hire. Chizik was hired away from Iowa State by Auburn after posting a 5-19 record over the last two seasons.
“I know about Chizik’s good background with Auburn, but I look at Auburn as being on the same level with the Floridas and Georgias, a top 10 school in the country. It’s a big-time program,” said Cotton, Sr. Monday. “And then we go out and hire a guy that has five wins over the last couple of years.
“That definitely brings some concern. I don’t know if there is a lot of confidence there from me as a father. As a parent, my comment is Auburn did nothing to prove to me they want to be a winner.”
Cotton, Sr. said his son would turn his attention to Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Florida and Arkansas. Cotton is the seventh prospect to decommit from the Tigers since Tuberville’s departure.