Change In Plans Has Cooper Excited

Robert Cooper's summer plans changed dramatically this week after a phone call from an Auburn assistant coach.

Daphne, Ala.--There has been a change in plans for Auburn signee Robert Cooper and he's very happy about it. Signed as a player that would report to Auburn this fall, but not join the team until Januarys as a grayshirt, Cooper says that he'll now be in Auburn in a month and join the team immediately.

"I'm coming up June 21," Cooper tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I'm going to be able to play this fall. Coach (Gus) Malzahn called me the other day and said I was going to be able to come in this summer and work out with the team.

"I'm pretty excited to do that. I didn't want to take a semester off from working out. I want to be in my best shape when I go up there."

That shouldn't be much of a problem for Cooper as he's spent his time since signing day working out with a personal trainer. Now up to almost 6-5 and 225-230 pounds, Cooper says he's been focusing solely on trying to get into the mix at quarterback as quickly as possible.

"I am faster," Cooper says. "I'm running in the low 4.5's now (40-yard dash). I have been working on keeping my arm in shape. I'm going to continue to stay in shape and my conditioning. I want to be in top form when I get to Auburn."

With fellow signee Reggie Taylor headed for junior college, it opened up a spot for Cooper to move into the class immediately. While it's something he has hoped for, he notes it was still a surprise.

"I was hoping it would happen," Cooper says. "I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to go. It was hard for me not to jump around and throw the phone across the room when he told me I was coming up. I was pretty excited."

Signed as a quarterback, but also capable of playing tight end or even linebacker because of his combination of size and speed, Cooper says watching Auburn's offense this spring was exciting for him because of what changes have been made under Malzahn.

"I got to go to a practice," Cooper says. "From what I saw I really liked it. In his offense you have to know everything. You know your reads, but also what the linemen are doing and the receivers.

"He was calling out the quarterbacks for a play and they would have to tell him the protection. You've got to be on your toes the whole time."

As a senior quarterback at Daphne, Cooper had a productive senior season with just over 1,600 yards passing, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also ran for over 500 yards and seven touchdowns.


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