Distance plays a factor in Cooper's decision

Distance played a role in Tristan Cooper's decision. Read on to find out why and more.

In recruiting, many different things can be a priority for prospects. For El Paso (Tex.) Andress safety Tristan Cooper, location was one of the biggest factors in his recruitment. 

"I wanted to be kind of close to home and Arizona is only about four and a half hours away," Cooper said. "I didn't feel like going too far away because I am really close with my family. If I went too far, I would probably just feel homesick."

Even with some distance, Cooper found that Tucson felt like home thanks to similarities in the city and the relationship with the coaches..

"When I went to the U of A the environment was a lot different, but still very similar (to El Paso)," he said. "The weather was similar, but it was a lot greener.

"The facilities were a lot nicer than I had seen before. I really liked the players and the coaches really made me feel wanted and I really liked that. 

"Coach Rich Rod and Coach Yates came by a few days later and showed all that love so I knew I made the right decision."

Cooper's recruitment was a whirlwind in the month of January, with Arizona getting in the game late in the process. 

"Arizona hit me up around Christmas break and I didn't really know what to expect," Cooper said. "My coach asked me what schools I thought I could play for so I gave him a list of Texas Tech, ASU, Arizona, and some other close schools.

"Now I know that Arizona and ASU are rivals, so I don't know what I was really thinking there."

With the process moving so fast, Cooper has to learn about Arizona in a hurry.

"I guess my coach and Rich Rod had talked before because my coach still had his number," he said. "I guess they liked my tape because they hit me up and wanted me to come visit. I was really hyped, but I still didn't know too much about the school yet. I just had to learn quickly."

The Wildcats are breaking in a new defensive staff and the safety got a little insight into the types of sets that Arizona will run in the coming seasons. 

"When I first did my research, I was thinking that Arizona was going to be running a 3-3-5, but then I talked to Coach Yates and he said that they will be doing away with it," Cooper said.

"He told me that they will be running more of a 4-2-5 now instead. Coach Yates kept telling me that they weren't recruiting me to play behind anyone and that they wanted me to come and try to play right away. 

"He told me that I wouldn't just be at free safety, but also at strong safety and nickel. They just might have me move around a lot."

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