Former Elite 11 QB Raymond Cotton signs with Poland’s Tychy Falcons

The Tychy Falcons of the Polish Football League have signed Raymond Cotton as their quarterback for the upcoming season.

For new head coach Augie Stevens the decision to bring in an accomplished veteran like Cotton was a no-brainer:

We’re excited to welcome Ray into the Falcons organization. His football background and experience give him an excellent foundation to mentor our young players, provide leadership, and contribute to the culture we want here. He has both the physical and mental tools to be an impact player on the field and allow us to explore 100% of the playbook without limits. We’re thrilled to bring an athlete like Ray to the Polish League. He’s someone who’s seen big-time SEC and Division 1 football, professional arena football, and played overseas already. He has a championship mentality that fits perfectly with our goals for the season.”

The 6’5″, 245-pound passer finds his way to Poland after a complex multi-stop football journey. The 30-year-old began his career as a highly recruited four-star prospect in Alabama. Ranked as the 11th best quarterback in the nation, Coton was honored as one of the 2008 ESPN Elite 11 quarterbacks, along with Geno Smith, Tajh Boyd, Garrett Gilbert, A.J. McCarron, Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger and Tom Savage, all of whom were drafted into the NFL.

Cotton went on to play his initial college football season at Ole Miss (NCAA D1 SEC) before transferring to South Alabama (NCAA D1 FCS) the following year. After one season with the Jaguars, Cotton was on the move again, this time transferring to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. While splitting time at the junior college the Mobile, Alabama native threw for 809 yards and six touchdowns, while adding 437 yards and six scores on the ground.

At the end of his lone season of junior college football, Cotton opted to stay in Mississippi signing with Belhaven College (NCAA D3). Cotton once again was once again only in a situational fashion throwing for 398 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 230 yards and two more scores. After suiting up for Belhaven for another one-year stint, Cotton took a two-year hiatus from football before finishing his NCAA career at Mississippi College (NCAA D2), where he ran for 211 yards and four touchdowns.

Since his roller coaster collegiate career ended, Cotton has continued pursuing his passion for football playing for the Green Bay Blizzard in the Indoor Football League in 2018. Fast forward to 2021, this upcoming season won’t be Cotton’s first international experience as he played for the Tampere Saints in Finland in 2019. In seven games in Finland’s top league, Cotton threw for 1,054 yards and 13 touchdowns and added 252 yards rushing and four more touchdowns. Cotton has also been an assistant coach at South Louisiana high school since 2018.

The former blue-chip recruit projects to be a key part of the Falcons offense for 2022. Expect Cotton to target fellow newcomers in Ukrainian receiver Oleksiy Zorin and British tight end Archie Stevens. Last year’s league runner-ups have added veteran defensive back Darius Lewis and re-signed twin defensive linemen Jacek and Dominik Sikora in an effort to return to the Polish Bowl next season.

Watch Cotton’s 2019 highlights here:

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and