Big Athlete To Visit Auburn

This talented South Alabama prospect talks about taking an official visit to Auburn this weekend.

Daphne, Ala.--It's almost decision time for Robert Cooper. Offered a full scholarship by UAB and a grayshirt scholarship by Auburn, the 6-4 ½, 215 Cooper has already taken a visit to check out the Blazers and this weekend he'll do the same to see coach Gene Chizik's program.

The choice of playing in the SEC, but sitting out his first season, or playing right away for UAB is a tough one for Cooper. He says both schools have their strengths and he couldn't go wrong choosing either.

"I've been up there for the spring game and for summer camps," Cooper says of Auburn. "Every time I have been there it has been awesome. The campus, the people there, just the feel of Jordan-Hare Stadium packed out for a big game. It's tough to beat."

Being recruited by the Tigers as an athlete, Cooper notes he's talked with Chizik and the coach told him he liked the things he's done on the field and could see him in a number of roles for Auburn down the road.

"Right now they haven't really specified," Cooper says of Auburn's plans for him. "I'm hoping to talk with coach (Gus) Malzahn and coach Chizik when I get up there. They're recruiting me as an athlete right now. I started at safety my sophomore year and then I played safety and wideout my junior year and also backup quarterback. I started at quarterback this year.

"When coach Chizik got there I got a phone call from him and he said he had watched some of my film and he really liked what I could do athletically," he adds. "I can run, throw, catch, pretty much anything you want me to do. He made me that grayshirt offer on the spot the second time he called me."

With Auburn looking at him as an athlete, it makes his offer from UAB even more appealing. Being looked at solely as a quarterback by Blazer coaches Neil Calloway and Kim Helton, he says having already visited Birmingham he likes the campus and what UAB has to offer.

"I just feel at home with Coach Helton and Coach Callaway," Cooper says. "They've made me feel welcome the whole time. The academics have really impressed me by what they've done renovating their academic people and the buildings. It's real incredible."

Cooper notes that it will feel strange to take a visit to Auburn and not see Coach James Willis there. The coach who began recruiting him for the Tigers, he's now at Alabama after taking a job there on Wednesday. Cooper says he wishes him the best of luck in the future.

"It being Alabama, I thought that would have been the last place he would have gone," Cooper says. "Alabama is a great school and I'm happy for him for the new opportunity, but I still kind of wish he was an Auburn Tiger."

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