AUBURN, Ala. — Former Cal offensive tackle Aaron Cochran said he didn’t know what to expect when he visited Auburn this weekend.
But a couple of days on the Plains exceeded whatever bar Cochran would’ve set for his official visit.
“It was fantastic. It was excellent,” Cochran said Sunday. “I’m not sure what I was expecting when I came, but I can tell you that it exceeded whatever expectations I thought I had. It’s been great. Everyone was great. The atmosphere is fantastic.”
Auburn is one of three finalists for Cochran, a 6-foot-8, 350-pound graduate transfer at offensive tackle. Cochran started 16 games in three seasons at Cal, and he’ll choose between Auburn, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech in early April.
Cochran said the Tigers see him as a left tackle, and they could move players around to fit him into their plans for 2017. As a graduate transfer with only one year of eligibility left, playing immediately is extremely important to Cochran.
“(Auburn would) probably try to move some guys around that they think could be better at other positions,” Cochran said. “Give them a little bit more flexibility across the line, some time for some younger people to develop and just have an impact right away.
“As a graduate transfer, I’ve only got six months. If I come in for six months and don’t get to play, then it was a waste.”
Cochran watched Auburn’s first spring scrimmage Saturday morning. As a veteran college player, Cochran said he appreciated the down-to-earth nature of his official visit to the Plains.
“In this process, especially at my age, a lot of coaches and schools are inclined to give you lip service to get you there, but it’s nice to be able to come out here and see the situation with my own eyes and assess it myself instead of just taking someone’s word for it,” Cochran said. “I’m not all about the flash and people spending money on official visits, because I’ve been doing this for four years already.”
Cochran played his high school football in California, but he was born in the Birmingham area in Alabama. His family lived in Midfield and Marion before moving out west. His grandmother still lives in the state.
“We lived in Alabama for nine years,” Cochran said. “It’s like being home, honestly.”
Cochran will visit Texas Tech on April 8 and make his decision shortly after that. He said he doesn’t have a leading school, but he knows what he wants out of his next school.
“It’s just finding a place that I can call home really, and of course, playing,” Cochran said. “I wouldn’t go to a school where I have to sit, because I’ve only got one season left. (I want) preparation for the next level, but at first, dominating this level and developing meaningful relationships with my coaches, teammates and just kind of better progression as a man.”