Auburn signed three players from the state of Texas earlier this month for the class of 2009 and is getting an early start on more prospects west of the Mississippi for 2010. One of those is four-star receiver prospect Demarco Cobbs of Central-Tulsa High School.
Cobbs is being recruited by Luper, but the hire of Malzahn from Tulsa has increased Cobbs' interest in Auburn.
"I have a lot of interest in Auburn now," Cobbs explains. "I had interest in Tulsa, but I didn't want to stay too close to home. When I found out (Malzahn) went to Auburn, that was nice. Auburn, LSU and Texas were my dream schools and I grew up watching those schools. When he went to Auburn that was really exciting for me.
"I was getting recruited to Auburn in the beginning but I guess when Coach Tommy Tuberville left or resigned Auburn fell off my list. I wasn't offered by Auburn then. Now that I've found out the coach from Tulsa went to Auburn I was really excited. The receivers coach from OSU (Taylor) went to Auburn too. I got to meet him when I went on an unofficial visit to OSU. I'm very excited about Auburn."
Cobbs, a high school quarterback being recruited to play receiver, already has too many offers to keep up with. He has one from Auburn that he got when he called Luper recently.
"Coach Luper is a real good guy," Cobbs says. "He seems like a family guy and someone that I can trust. When we were talking he broke everything down for me. He said, ‘We're excited about you,' and he told me they had offered me."
Even though he grew up a fan of Auburn, LSU and Texas, Cobbs says that he doesn't have any real favorites with signing day more than 11 months away.
"I'm wide open at the moment," he explains. "I'm still looking around and it's dead period for the schools right now. I can call them, but I really want to see the coaches and be able to talk to them face-to-face.
"I think I'm going to wait it out," Cobbs adds. "We'll see. I think I'm going to wait it out though. I'm going to try to wait it out until signing day."
Tennessee is recruiting Cobbs as a tailback, but every other offer is as a receiver. Having been to several Tulsa games the last two years with Malzahn as the Golden Hurricane's offensive coordinator, Cobbs says he would fit in well at Auburn and the new offense.
"I know he likes to throw that ball and that's what I like about Auburn," Cobbs says of Malzahn's offense. "He has no problem throwing the ball. Staying with the spread and having those receivers all over the field, I think I'd be able to fit into that offense pretty fast if I were to make a decision to commit to them. But like I said, I'm going to wait it out though. He has a real good offense and I really like that about Auburn."
However, it was actually a pair of running backs that sparked Cobbs' interest in Auburn several years ago.
"I know a lot about Auburn," he says. "I remember Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown, those two guys right there. I watched that whole seasons when they went undefeated. They didn't get a chance to play for the national championship, but they beat Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.
"I'm going to try to come down there for junior day on an unofficial visit, or maybe for a camp or something," Cobbs continues.
Auburn won't start its spring practice until March 24. In the meantime, Cobbs has made several visits already this spring to schools closer to home.
"I was excited to go there and see what everybody has," he says of his three visits. "They all had some real nice things. All three of the schools I just named were getting new renovations for new locker rooms, weight rooms and everything. They had new facilities that they were building. All of the coaches that I have been talking to at the three junior days have been pretty cool."
Cobbs will likely have an offer from anywhere that he chooses by the time signing day comes around, and he already has an idea of what he's looking for in a college and football program.
"One, just being able to trust the coaches," he explains. "Being able to know the coaches on and off the field, not just as a coach but as a person. Just being able to really get to know them. Academics would be one (factor), and just seeing how the players carry themselves when they're around each other. As far as playing time, I want to play as a true freshman if I can. I'm not worried about going in and competing, but I want to play as a true freshman if I can."
Cobbs, 6-2, 201 pounds, says that he wants to play receiver in college.
"I play quarterback for my high school," he notes. "I rushed for over 1,000 with 20 touchdowns. Then I passed for over 1,000 and I believe 10 touchdowns. I had a 90-yard kickoff return and I had two punt returns and an interception. I played the last three games at free safety and I had about 24 or 26 tackles."
Cobbs will compete in track this spring at Central.
"This year I'm competing in the 1 (100-yard dash), the 2, the 4, the 4x1 and 4x4," he says. "My 40 time is a 4.48 or 4.5-flat. My best time in the hundred is a 10.5-flat."