"I am going to play football at Auburn," the offensive lineman says. "I feel good about my decision. There is no doubt in my mind. Auburn is a great place. It is a lot like Brewton and it is where I want to be."
Cooper was one of 17 players taking official visits to Auburn this weekend and said he had a great trip. "It went real well," Cooper tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "It was everything I expected it to be. I got to look at everything and confirm what I thought already. I really like Auburn."
Cooper, who has been pursued by other colleges including Nick Saban's staff at Alabama, has been telling coaches for months he wants to play for Auburn. He will get a chance to do that as either grayshirt this fall or will sign a scholarship if a slot is open, he says. AU coaches explained to the big guard prospect that their slots for offensive linemen appear to be full, but made it clear to Cooper that they want him on the team.
"That is fine with me if I am a grayshirt," Cooper says. "I want to play at Auburn. I really like the players there and I have wanted to go there for a while now." If Cooper is a grayshirt this fall, he will attend classes at Auburn, but not go on scholarship until the 2008 season. That would give him five years to play four seasons, starting with the 2008 season. Jason Bosley, who shared the starting duties this past season with Joe Cope, came to Auburn as a grayshirt.
An honor student with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, the Class 4A Lineman of he Year says, "We got to meet with all of the academic people. We toured the ins and outs of everything you could imagine. It was a real in-depth look at everything."
Cooper, a member of the Orlando Sentinel's All-South team, says the weekend in Auburn confirmed that AU is a good fit. "I spent a lot of time with the other commitments and I can definitely see myself playing with these guys. It seems like everybody just clicked. It is just a great group of guys."
Nathan Farrow, a walk-on offensive guard who made the move from defense, was Cooper's player host. "Nate is a great guy and we are a lot alike so we got along real well."
Cooper notes that he drove to the Auburn campus with his family. "Friday we came up and I ate out with the players and then went out with my player host," he says. "I got to meet quite a few of the players. I enjoyed meeting Jason Bosley. He is a character and I like him.
"Saturday we met with the academic people and toured the stadium," Cooper says. "They had our jerseys hanging up in the locker. That was real neat. We had dinner at the stadium and then we got to go out on the field for a little while and goof around. We went out with our player hosts like we did on Saturday night."
Cooper, who stands six-foot-four, says he weighed himself on Saturday and he was 295 pounds. He is a player who expects to play offensive guard in college.
"I came up with my dad, my mom and my sister," he says. "They had a good time. They all like it up there.
"I got to learn a lot about the academic stuff," he says when asked what stood out about the weekend. "That was very enlightening. The visit confirmed everything I already thought. It is a great place. It is hard not to like it."