Ole Miss

Nutt trying to keep Cotton from bolting Ole Miss

Third-year Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt arrived at SEC Media Days on Friday fielding plenty of questions about redshirt freshman quarterback Raymond Cotton, who is considering transferring to another school as summer camp approaches.

Cotton, a 6-foot-4 athlete from Fort Meade, Md., came out of spring drills as the No. 2 quarterback behind Nathan Stanley and was expected to compete for playing time this season for the Rebels, who have won the last two Cotton Bowls while finishing 9-4 overall both times.

"Nothing has been decided, not as of yet (on Cotton)," Nutt said. "His mom and dad are visiting him today or tomorrow, and I'm hoping he makes the right decision. We'll see what happens.

"Quarterbacks want to play yesterday. We're really excited about Nathan Stanley and (former junior college star) Randall Mackey. You've got to go with the ones who are there."

Nutt later said that Cotton's parents, Raymond and Gwen Cotton, want their son to stay at Ole Miss. The Rebels have to replace two-year starter Jevan Snead, who left for the NFL draft with one year of eligibility remaining but had to settle for a free-agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Nutt believes the Rebels' defense will be the strength of their team.

"We're going to lean on Tyrone's group," he said, referring to defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix.

More on the Rebels and SEC Media Days will be in Saturday's editions.