Cochran Looking At Auburn Following Visit

California prospect Matt Cochran talks about visiting Auburn and Alabama on his trip through the state.

Atwater, Cal.--Auburn's name continues to interest players from all across the country and the latest is Buhach Colony center prospect Matt Cochran. Rated as the number six center in the country by, Cochran took a trip through Alabama this week to visit both the Crimson Tide and the Tigers and also see the state he was born and grew up in.

Originally from Alabama before moving West, Cochran said he was already very familiar with both programs before taking his visit along with his father and a family friend. Moving to Birmingham as an infant, Cochran lived in Alabama until he was 10 before Houston and then California became his destinations.

Now taking a trip back to see both schools and family and friends, Cochran said things couldn't have gone much better for him that it did.

"They gave me a perfect tour actually," Cochran said of Auburn. "Out of all the schools I've been to out west, I have taken tours at Washington, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, I could name them all, by far it was the best hospitality and the best coaches. It's a great coaching staff. I like the Christian base they have. That's very important to me as an athlete and a Christian athlete.

"Going to Alabama and doing the camp took a lot out of me," he added. "I hope I left the impression that I'm a physical player to the coaches. I had a conversation with Coach (Jeff) Grimes and Coach (Gus) Malzahn. It sounded pretty good from them. I don't have an offer from either school yet, but I'm sure they are both going to be evaluating me for the next few months. I'm trying to get my weight down to about 310. I'm at 330 right now. Overall this was probably the best trip I have taken so far."

One of the highlights of the trip for Cochran was getting to see Nick Fairley after the defensive lineman returned with the Auburn team following it's trip to the White House.

That trip also showed Cochran just what the Auburn coaching staff is all about. Despite going up and back to Washington, D.C., they made the effort to get back to visit with him. He said that made an impact.

"It actually did," he noted. "That puts them on top of a lot of other schools that they would make that kind of an effort just to talk with me and get to know me as a player."

A 6-3, 330-pounder with good feet and agility, Cochran is a capable of clearing holes in the middle of a defensive line and many schools have already taken notice. With offers such as Arizona State, Boise State, California, UCLA, Utah, Washington and Washington State, Cochran said he's just taking his time with things at the moment waiting for the best opportunity for him.

"Everybody is even now with Alabama and Auburn," Cochran said. "They're both on the same level with me. I had to work very hard with Alabama just to show them I'm the kind of player I say I am. With Auburn, talking with Coach Grimes this past week, I got to know a lot about him and their coaching staff. They're both ranking pretty evenly right now."

Even without offers from either school Cochran said that he's high on the two and would like to continue his playing career in the Southeastern Conference down the road.

"I'm not trying to knock the Pac 12 but the SEC is on top," Cochran said. "They've always been on top. It's just a matter of better competition and plus I'm from the South.

"I still consider Alabama my home," he added. "California is just somewhere we are visiting right now. I have developed a lot of good friendships and met a lot of great people in California. I just know it's God because you couldn't get those kinds of relationships on your own."

Admitting his father and most of that side of the family are big Alabama fans, Cochran said that while that's the case it won't have a factor in his decision because that's left up to the Man upstairs.

"It's mostly Alabama," he said of his dad's family. "I'm not going to put it down we are Crimson Tide all the way, but like I've told most of the coaches we're going to give each school an even look. Everything comes down to Prayer for me. Wherever God wants me is where I'm going to be."

Cochran said he hopes to make return visits to Auburn and Alabama before making his decision, something he's not in a hurry to do.

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