Tigers’ Cooper looks forward to more playing time this year

Published 4:39 pm Thursday, June 4, 2009

By By Adam Robinson
sports editor

Former W.S. Neal Eagle football player Jared Cooper has not played in a lot of college football games in his short career at Auburn University, but the ones he has played in have been “great.”
Cooper, a 2007 graduate of W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton, will be a sophomore this season for the Tigers after red shirting his first season.
Cooper saw action in six games last season playing against Louisiana Monroe, West Virginia, UT-Martin, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama.
While the season last year was not a great one for the Tigers with a 5-7 season and losing their head coach Tommy Tuberville, the 6-4, 300-lb. Cooper said things should be different this season.
With the departure of Tuberville, Gene Chizik is the new head coach on the Plains.
Chizik, a former Auburn assistant coach comes to Auburn after two years as head coach at Iowa State.
After he saw limited action in the 2008 season, Cooper and the Auburn Tigers completed spring training a couple months ago and are now working towards the 2009 season.
While he along with the rest of the team had to show themselves to the new staff, Cooper said he feels good about this season.
This season, Cooper will have former W.S. Neal teammate Jamar Travis on the team with him.
Travis committed to the Tigers this past February on National Signing Day after a close battle with Southern Miss.
W.S. Neal has former players Nykeem Barton and Jonathan Alexander at Tuskegee University, Cory Freeman and Justin Howard at Jacksonville State, and James Freeman at Faulkner in Montgomery.
Along with playing football, Cooper made the freshman SEC Honor Roll his first year, and then made SEC Honor Roll again this year.
While at W.S. Neal, Cooper played and graduated under former W.S. Neal head football coach Blaine Hathcock.
Hathcock resigned last month from the school to take the head football coaching job at Haleyville in northwest Alabama.
Cooper was on the 2006 Eagle team as a senior that rallied to defeat then No. 1 T.R. Miller 42-35 in Brewton in the Battle of Murder Creek for the Eagles’ first win over the Tigers since 1996.
W.S. Neal trailed 21-0 at the half and scored the game-winning touchdown on a 4th down-and-10 pass play from 30 yards out to score with eight seconds.

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