"It was mainly the school," the 6-5, 215 Cooper tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I mainly was looking for a school that if I didn't play football, I would still be happy at academically. That was a huge part as well as the coaches and knowing who I was going to be with the next four or five years as far as the players. That all factored into it and Auburn came out on top for me."
Being recruited as an athlete by the Tigers that will likely wind up on the defensive side of the ball, Cooper says he'll get a shot at quarterback and is looking forward to working with offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. He notes though that if he doesn't work out at the position he's willing and able to help out wherever the team needs him.
"I told coach Malzahn and coach (Gene) Chizik that I had committed," Cooper says. "Coach Malzahn was real happy. I told him that was the position I wanted to play was quarterback. He said he would be disappointed if I didn't want to play that. I'm really happy with the decision I made and I'm looking forward to going up there with the rest of the guys.
"Coach Malzahn said he would give me a shot at quarterback, but what they really liked about me was my athletic ability," he adds. "If quarterback works out that's great, but if it doesn't I'll give 150 percent at any other position they can see me playing. I'll do whatever it takes to help Auburn win."
Already familiar with Clint Moseley because of the summer camp circuit and meeting him on trips to Auburn for the LSU and Georgia games, Cooper says that not only has he had a chance to get to know several of the players in his class, he's also become friendly with a few of his future teammates.
"It's huge," Cooper says. "I know some of the upperclassmen like Ryan Pugh that hosted me and Lee Ziemba. The type of people that coach Chizik is going to bring in there and the type of people there right now is huge. The chemistry of a team is what helps win games and is a big part of things. It was definitely a big factor for me."
Expected to pay his own way for the fall semester in 2009 before joining the team in January, Cooper says depending on how things work out that may change between now and when the team begins fall practices in August.
"It's still a gray shirt, but coach Chizik said if someone doesn't qualify or has to go to a junior college that I would be the first one on the list to get a scholarship," Cooper says. "I would just come in like a regular scholarship guy in the fall."