It’s two down and one to go for big offensive tackle Aaron Cochran, who came away from his weekend official visit with the Tigers saying that Auburn is under serious consideration as his destination for the 2017 season as a graduate transfer football player.
The former Cal Bear has already visited Oklahoma State and is planning his third and final official visit to Texas Tech on April 8th.
“It was a fantastic visit, it was excellent,” he said. “I am not sure what I was expecting when I came, but I can tell you it exceeded whatever expectations I thought I had of it. It has been great. Everyone is great. The atmosphere was great.”
The six-foot-eight, 345-pounder said that he will announce his decision after his trip to Lubbock, Tex., in April to check out Texas Tech. He said at this time he doesn’t have a leader and wants to evaluate each of his finalists before deciding where to play this fall.
“I got to watch the scrimmage,”?he said as the Tigers practiced on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. “Just to be able to come out there and assess the situation, and see it with my own eyes instead of taking someone’s word for it, has been good.
"Hanging around the players and getting a sense of how they operate together, day to day--I am not all about the flash, people spending money on official visits because I? have been doing this for four years already. I got what I needed out it (the visit).”
The trip to Auburn was a return to the state where he has lived prior to playing high school football in California.
“My grandma lives in Birmingham,” he said. “My dad was born in Birmingham and I was born in Birmingham. We lived in Alabama for nine years so it is like being home, honestly.” He also lived in Midfield and Marion as a youngster.
Aaron Cochran said he liked the weather and plenty of other things on his weekend at Auburn.
Asked if the coaching staff changes prompted his decision to play elsewhere, Cochran said that he actually likes the new staff at Cal. “I was done being at the University of California," he pointed out. "I am ready to move on. That is all there is to it. There is no animosity towards anyone.”
Asked why he thinks Auburn is recruiting him and what position he might play for the Tigers, Cochran said, “I think maybe left tackle is what they are looking at and maybe move some guys around they think could be better at other positions, give them a little more flexibility across the line, and more time for some younger people to develop, and have an impact right away as a graduate transfer.”
Getting into the starting lineup wherever he goes is a big deal for the offensive tackle, whose goal is to move on to the NFL in 2018. “I only have six months to play,” he said. “If I don’t play right away it is a waste.”
Commenting on what will be important in making his college transfer decision, the big tackle said, “It is finding a place I can call home, really, and of course, playing because I just have one season left. Preparation for the next level, and first dominating this level, and developing meaningful relationships with my coaches and teammates and just a better progression as a man is what I am looking for.”
Cochran noted that Auburn’s offensive line coach, Herb Hand, made a positive impression on him.
“Coach Hand is fantastic," the lineman said. "He is really passionate about his job. He loves his work, he loves his players. You can see it in his actions and his words, and how the players talk about him, how the staff talks about him and how he carries himself. He is just really open and honest, a formidable guy, and you really want that as a player.”