Prep School Standout Talks Auburn Visit

This prep school standout originally from Troup County (Ga.) High discusses Auburn, Reuben Foster and more.

LaGrange, Ga.—A talented prep school receiver at Jireh Prep in Matthews, N.C., 6-2, 200 Christian Cumberlander was a player that received plenty of recruiting interest coming out of Troup County High before failing to qualify last year. Now ready to make his mark on the college football world, Cumberlander has seen his recruiting take a sudden curve in the last few days thanks to good friend Reuben Foster.

Lifelong friends that have always wanted to play football together on the next level, the two are expected to be taking an official visit to Auburn together this weekend after a visit with Coach Gus Malzahn opened the door for Cumberlander to the Tigers once again.

"Coach Malzahn had heard about me and recruited me out of high school when he was at Auburn prior to Arkansas State," Cumberlander tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "He had heard about me and Reuben told him about me. He wanted to meet me so I ended up going to the complex one day and meeting with Coach Malzahn and Reuben.

"Coach Malzahn just asked me right off the bat if I was still interested in coming to Auburn. I told him I was and I let him know how my recruiting was going. He told me just to give them an opportunity to show what they have to offer and to show me the offense. I said I would give them an opportunity and come on a visit this weekend."

Playing outside receiver this season in prep school, Cumberlander had 38 catches for 708 yards and six touchdowns while missing two games because of an injury. Those numbers and his physical presence were enough for Malzahn to give the receiver a long look.

"It's kind of like a soft verbal," Cumberlander says of his offer from Auburn. "He told me that he doesn't want me to commit just because I feel the pressure to commit. He said just to take my time and when I get to Auburn this weekend and if I feel the need to commit then that's what I should do."

Growing up just up the interstate from Auburn, Cumberlander says he's always liked the Tigers and that was especially the case the last few years. Building a strong relationship with the previous staff, he said he's getting to know the new staff now and combined with his friendships with several current players it makes the Tigers high on his list.

"Going into prep school Auburn was my number one school," Cumberlander says. "I had built a strong relationship with Coach (Trooper) Taylor and Coach (Tommy) Thigpen and Coach (Gene) Chizik. They used to check on me at prep school. When all that happened I started weighing my options. I'm still real high on Auburn. I love all the players at Auburn. I played with Quan Bray. I'm really high on Auburn."

His friendship with Foster could be something that plays into a possible decision down the road, but at the moment he notes the exciting thing for him is having the opportunity to sit down and get to know Malzahn and the staff even better.

"Me and my mom talked about the visit last night when I got home from the complex," Cumberlander says. "I talked to Coach Malzahn and he was hyped up about it. He was ready to get me there. He said they needed some big guys on the perimeter and he thinks I could be that guy. I'm pretty hyped about it."

With a final three of Auburn, Houston and San Diego State, Cumberlander says there is some talk that he and Foster may visit the Aztecs during this week before the visit to Auburn this weekend, but he adds that visit is still up in the air at the moment.

"I'm going to try to go on an unofficial visit to San Diego State, but I have to see about the plane situation," Cumberlander says. "I have to see if my mom is going to be able to get a ticket so I'm not sure I'll visit."

With one more weekend before national signing day and three schools to choose from Cumberlander says for him the thing he'll have to decide is what school is the best for him in all areas? Once he figures that out he says his decision will be made.

"If I feel the need and I feel like it's the place for me and I can see myself walking around campus and being a student and if it's the best fit for me football-wide and education-wise and if my gut tells me to do it, then I'll probably do it this weekend," Cumberlander says. "If I have to weigh things out I might wait a little bit longer."

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