Notre Dame is still working hard to finish out the 2022 wide receiver class with a bang, but that hasn't stopped the Fighting Irish staff from already getting a jump on the 2023 class.
One of the top early targets is Milton (Fla.) High School standout Raymond Cottrell, a dynamic 6-3, 210-pound pass catcher. Cottrell already holds offers from Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida and Florida State among others. He is one of the many talented 2023 prospects that plans on visiting Notre Dame unofficially on July 27th.
Cottrell ranks as the nation's No. 76 overall player in the class according to the 247Sports composite ranking, and he's currently a consensus Top 100 recruit in the 2023 class. If there’s one word to describe Cottrell’s game, according to his head coach, it’s an easy choice.
“Physical,” Coach Harry Lees said of his star wideout. “When he gets the ball that’s where I think he separates himself from everybody else. He’s hard to bring down and he runs with an attitude … Also his athleticism, he runs really good routes.”
Lees noted that Cottrell runs in the 4.4 range during workouts, and he fits the mold of pass Irish stars like Miles Boykin and Chase Claypool thanks to his combination of size and long speed.
The Irish need a strong visit to convince Cottrell that Notre Dame is the school for him, but the fact he's making an early visit on his own dime shows he has early interest in the Fighting Irish program.
“(His interest level) is high," Lees said of Cottrell's feelings on Notre Dame. "It’s so completely different than anywhere else he has been. Notre Dame kind of speaks for itself. The tradition, the history, the high academic standards. If Notre Dame talks to you, that goes a long way.
“That diploma from Notre Dame is a lot different from the diplomas you can get from our area," continued Lees. "It’s definitely a plus in Notre Dame’s favor.”
Cottrell certainly fits the off-the-field mold for Notre Dame.
“Oh yeah, he’s really strong academically.” Lees noted. “Just like everything else, he’s just trying to work on it so he (doesn’t have to worry about it).”
Notre Dame offered Cottrell in the spring and wasted no time getting to work on him. It’s also been reported on Irish Breakdown that Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees is making some changes on the offensive side of the ball, something the Irish staff have made clear to Cottrell.
“(Notre Dame) showed him spring practices, he was excited, he thought that was the neatest thing ever," explained the Milton head coach.
“(Cottrell) is what every coach looks for," continued Lees. "He can excel on the field, he has a tremendous work ethic, he’s a great teammate. Him fitting at Notre Dame wouldn’t be a problem.”
Getting Cottrell on campus this July is big for Notre Dame and gives the Irish a chance to make a play for this talented wideout.
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