UF felt like home for Copeland: Florida Gators recruiting

Friday night was a huge night for the Florida Gators recruiting efforts and it showed with the number of visitors that packed South end zone of the Swamp.

One of those visitors was receiver Jacob Copeland (6-1, 182, Pensacola, FL. Escambia), who says this visit was just another good one to Gainesville.

“It’s always good to come down here to Florida,” Copeland said. “Coach Mac, as soon as I came up here he had me there with him, he had something going on, he stopped and came and talked to me. Me, him and Coach [Kerry] Dixon were chilling, you know, just like usual. I came up, it felt just like home. It always do when I come up here.”

When Copeland first arrived, he met with head coach Jim McElwain who has been recruiting the receiver since his freshman year.

“I’m a big priority for them, always have been ever since I was first recruited,” he said on what McElwain told him. “And ever since he’s been like, ‘You’re gonna look good in that orange and blue’.”

Running backs coach JaJuan Seider and new area recruiter Tim Skipper had a little fun with Copeland about the receiver waiting to January to make a decision.

“Oh yeah. They were talking about, ‘We need you on board,” Copeland said of the coaching staff. “We’ve gotta have you. You’ve gotta start this class for us. You start this class for us and we’ll get on a roll. We can take it to a natty’.”

Copeland was fast at the trigger and gave the two Gators coaches a quick response to their question.

“I was like, ‘Man, just stay tuned’.”

Receivers coach Kerry Dixon has built a solid relationship with Copeland and the two got the chance to catch up on Friday.

“Man, me and Coach Dixon, we clown,” he said of his relationship with Kerry Dixon. “That’s someone like a father figure/brother to me. Coach Dixon, we always talk, we’re always cool, we always can have a laugh together. He ain’t always serious at all times. He can be serious at times, but when it’s time to have fun, he’s always got that part of him going.”

When Dixon talks recruiting with Copeland, the receiver coach explains how big of a need the receiver is to Florida.

“He’s always telling me that Antonio Callaway is going to leave, so he needs a big-timer like me,” Copeland said of Dixon’s message to him. “He’s just seen me in action and he likes what I got that a lot of recruits don’t have and he’s gonna need a big-timer to come in and step it up and play.”

Friday was the first time for Copeland and linebackers coach Tim Skipper to really talk and get to know each other since the coach took over the Pensacola area.

“Yeah, I chop it up with Coach Skip,” he said of his new area recruiter. “Coach Skip told me to keep contact, stay tuned, stay in contact, always make sure I’m straight in class, make sure everything’s straight. Me and Coach Skip get along. We’re gonna get along real good.”

For months, Copeland has said two teams were standing out for him and he’s sticking by that now.

“It’s still Florida and Clemson,” Copeland said. “Nobody is leading out of the two, I’m just waiting until the Under Armour to decide.”


INSIDERS TAKE: McElwain has made Copeland a priority since he arrived in Gainesville and that’s something the receiver takes notice of. Florida has the instate thing going for them and that’s something Copeland likes.


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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.