Ex-MSU player Cotton dead at 38

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

Al Cotton was a good college football player, but Jackie Sherrill’s memories of him turn more away from the playing field.
Sherrill, who coached Cotton at Mississippi State, was among those mourning his death Saturday. Cotton, 38, died after suffering a seizure early Saturday morning in Dallas, according to Sherrill.
Cotton, who was from Richardson, Texas, was a 13-year-old at a Texas Aamp&M football camp when Sherrill first met him. Years later, as MSU’s coach, Sherrill recruited the defensive end. Cotton played for him from 1994-95.
“He had ability. A tall kid that could run,” Sherrill said. “The happiest time that I think I saw him is when he had his mother and grandmother at his graduation. They were extremely proud of him. He was beaming from ear to ear that day.”
After football, Cotton started football camps for youths, focusing on techniques and fundamentals.
At the time of his death, Cotton was CEO of Xplod, a company made up of former coaches and players who offer both football and life skills instruction to young players.
The company’s first annual Elite Lineman Camp was scheduled for this weekend.
“He helped a lot of inner city kids,” Sherrill said. “A lot of kids had a chance to go on and go to college.”
Funeral arrangements are not yet complete.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571
or brad.locke@journalinc.com.