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2019 NFL draft: Introducing Lester Cotton, Alabama’s experienced offensive line prospect

AllState Sugar Bowl - Clemson v Alabama Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

If you’re looking for an experienced offensive line prospect that comes from a winning culture, starting your search at Alabama is usually a good idea.

The latest proof? 2x National Champion guard Lester Cotton.

Cotton recently spoke exclusively with MCM about how having a son changed his life, the best defensive linemen he ever faced throughout college and what kind of skill set he brings to the next level.

JM: What was your Pro Day like? All 32 teams were in attendance.

LC: It was great. It gave me an opportunity to speak with a ton of coaches afterwards. I got to meet some of those guys for the first time. It was a new experience, but a lot of fun at the same time.

JM: Which teams did you get a chance to chat with afterwards?

LC: I actually spoke with the majority of the teams there. I had a few meetings afterwards. I met with the Buccaneers, Jets and Saints at the conclusion of my Pro Day. It was a great day.

JM: 2017 was a big year for you. You became a dad and finally earned a permanent starting role on Alabama’s offensive line. What changed for you?

LC: Bringing a life into the world will change you. It just will. I couldn’t just focus on myself anymore. I couldn’t be selfish. My life became about football, my son and my fiancee. Proposing to my fiancee and having a son with her gave me an energy boost. I needed that. It made me want it more. My love for the game is stronger today than it’s ever been. It made me make some positive life changes.

JM: That’s awesome. You leave Alabama as a 2x champion and you’re a local guy from right there in Tuscaloosa. Did being a local guy make it that much more special?

LC: Yeah, definitely. The community always showed me so much love. They truly made me feel loved and accepted here. They really appreciated me doing what I do. I always tried to make a positive influence in the community. I always gave back and made sure that I made time for doing good. That’s what I have to offer. I know the community out here appreciates everything that I’ve done. That’s a great feeling for me.

JM: I love that. Playing at Alabama obviously gave you a chance to play against the best competition college football has to offer. Who are some of the best defensive linemen you ever went up against?

LC: I’d have to say the guys I went up against in practice (laughs). How many talented defensive linemen have we had in my time here? The list is endless. Quinnen Williams is obvioiusly special. I can’t forget about guys like Tim Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson and Ryan Anderson. We’ve just had so much talent over the years. Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence from Clemson were great guys to compete against. Jeffery Simmons from Mississippi State is a top player. He’s incredibly powerful. I’ve gone up against some very talented players.

JM: While on the topic of your teammates, if you were going to war tomorrow and could only bring one with you, who would you bring and why?

LC: It would have to be Jalen Hurts. He brings so much energy to the table. He has so much enthusiasm for the game. He’s been an incredibly successful dude and he loves to win. He’s never down and out. You can’t count him out. He never puts himself first. He’s an excellent teammate. The thought of losing is never in his head. That’s just his mentality. Another close friend of mine is Xavier McKinney. He’s been going through a lot but he doesn’t let anything distract him. He never gives up. He still puts his best foot forward and gives it his all. I admire that about him.

JM: In closing, why should an NFL team use one of their draft picks on Lester Cotton?

LC: I’m a great athlete first and foremost. I’m a great person to have apart of your organization and in your community. Just like I did at Alabama, I’m going to give back to my community. I’m a fun athlete and I play the game physically. I play fast and physical. Of course I have some things to work on, but an athlete always has room for improvement. You’re getting an honest person in me.