A larger-than-life folk hero from Tuscaloosa Central High, Lester Cotton arrived at Alabama having already been featured in a longform on ESPN. Growing to a whopping 328 lb. as a teen, Lester always knew where he wanted to play his college ball. When Nick Saban offered a scholarship after watching Lester dominate a local football camp, the deal was sealed.
Lester saw action in his freshman 2015 season, appearing in four contests, before earning a starting role at left guard in 2016. He ended up sharing the role with Korren Kirven that year but appeared in 14 games, including five starts. The 2017 season saw him not only seize a role as an every week starter, but also as a father with the birth of the life changing Lester Cotton, Jr. The newborn was even able to make it to the semifinal whipping of Clemson to see Dad do his thing in person:
Lester Cotton with the most adorable "one-handed grab" I've ever seen, celebrating @AlabamaFTBL's #CFPlayoff semifinal win over Clemson. #rolltide #LesterJr #SugarBowl #SugarSemi #RoadTo17 pic.twitter.com/euDIJw1NbZ— Laura Goldman (@GOODasGOLDman) January 2, 2018
As a senior, Cotton faced some fierce competition from the up-and-coming Deonte “Cornbread” Brown, but held his own and ended up starting ten contests. He was pivotal in the playoffs, as the Tide found plenty of success running the football and protecting Tua Tagovailoa. He leaves Tuscaloosa with a degree, two national championships and four playoff appearances.
Lester’s NFL future is yet to be determined, but his size and experience will undoubtedly earn him an opportunity to impress. Best of luck to him in all of his future endeavors.
Roll Tide, Lester!