After picking his first scholarship offer at a different camp this weekend, the rising senior notes that he is "really excited."
Van Hooser attended camps at SMU in Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday before returning home to go to one at Troy a week ago Friday before finishing his busy week with a two-day camp at Auburn that ended last Sunday. He made the trips in hopes of picking up his first scholarship offer prior to his senior season.
"I feel like if I get one offer, others will follow soon after that," he told Inside the Auburn Tigers after his visit to AU.
After making a trip to New Orleans for a camp at Tulane this Friday and Saturday, Van Hooser got that first offer as he impressed the Green Wave enough to have head coach Bob Toledo tell him there is a scholarship waiting for him.
Wilson Van Hooser
"It's funny how things work out," Van Hooser says. "I didn't think I was having a great camp at Tulane. In fact, I think I was off to my worst start of any of the camps of the summer because I dropped some passes. I was kind of frustrated about that."
Van Hooser notes that he made up his mind for the second day of the two-day camp on the Tulane campus that he was going "straighten up" and show the coaches his talent. "After that I played better in the one-on-ones and then in the seven-on-sevens and I think that got their attention," he says.
Also getting their attention was his speed. "The coaches told me I ran the fastest time of anybody at the camp--a 4.54," he says. Van Hooser, who is 5-11, 175 pounds, has been clocked at under 4.5 for the 40 in other camps. He used that speed to catch 43 passes for 749 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
"The Auburn camp went pretty good," says Van Hooser, who notes that he grew up a Tiger fan. "I started out in the top group and the second day me and Dwayne Difton were the top two receivers. I thought I raised my stock.
"There wasn't a single cornerback out there I thought could hang with me," he adds. "That is the swagger you need to have, especially at this level.
"I went against Branden Smith, the guy from Atlanta who is rated as one of the top cornerbacks in the country, and he was just dominating everyone," Van Hooser says. "He really wasn't a problem for me. I actually ran a fly route against him and got open. We will see how it goes. I feel like I can play at this level for sure. I don't think is any question about it."
He says attending the camps has been useful. "They definitely help me get better as a receiver," Van Hooser says. "The Auburn camp was especially good because I won't face that type of talent during the season."
Van Hooser says he believes he did enough at the Auburn camp to attract the attention of AU wide receivers coach Greg Knox as well as the offensive coordinator, Tony Franklin. "Coach Franklin knew who I was when I talked to him," the rising senior notes.
The wide receiver says he has got some serious thinking to do about his first offer. "I really loved my visit to Tulane," he says, noting he toured the campus and the city and got to spend time with the university's athletic director and the coaches.
"Tulane is a respected school academically and I am going to seriously consider the value of a private university education," he says. "They told me my grades are fine for being accepted there. I am thinking seriously about what a degree from Tulane would do to help me when I am ready to graduate and look for my first job."
"I feel blessed that God has given me a chance to have this kind of opportunity and I am enjoying the recruiting process getting to go to camps and competing against guys like Branden Smith who may be playing in the NFL someday," adds Van Hooser, who notes that he may take in additional summer camps at Ole Miss and Rice prior to the start of his senior season at Trinity.