Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. Today, Jacob Copeland praises Auburn and wide receivers coach Kodi Burns yet again. Also, there’s a quick update on the new signing period.
WR from Florida offers high Auburn praise — again
PENSACOLA, Fla. — Jacob Copeland’s preferences have changed a few times throughout his recruiting process.
A few top schools have been eliminated. On more than one occasion, one of his schools of interest re-emerged after saying publicly that he’d reduced his options to other programs.
Through all of that, one thing has remained constant: Auburn.
“That’s one of those schools, you can’t go wrong going to Auburn, just knowing you’ll have coaches that’ll take care of you,” Copeland told SEC Country. “Coach Kodi Burns, he’s like a big brother to me. Me and him, we vibe all the time, we talk all the time. It’s hardly ever about football. It’s after football life. He’s always got me, even if I wasn’t to come to Auburn. He always tells me I have the ability to be a first-round draft pick. He wants to guide me through to be a man.”
If Copeland ever had any doubts about Auburn, it stemmed from his uncertainty with the passing game.
He’s well aware of the Tigers’ tendencies as a run-first team. During the 2016 season, Copeland wondered why the offense wasn’t utilizing top wide receivers such as Nate Craig-Myers. Any of those concerns were washed away with one film session with Burns and offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey.
The trio sat down for a quick tape review during Copeland’s most recent swing through the Plains. Auburn’s spring game was the primary topic of conversation.
Copeland liked what he saw.
“They’ve got [Jarrett] Stidham. He’s young. They’ve got the other true freshman quarterback [Malik Willis]. When I stopped back by coming back from Clemson, I sat in a room with Coach Burns and Coach Lindsey. They showed proof,” Copeland said. “They threw for like 700 yards in the spring game. All the receivers had like 87 to 100 yards each. Just coming in, I know what their receivers can do. I feel like I’ve got something in my mind that other receivers can’t do.”
Copeland’s decision remains far off.
After saying Auburn and Florida were the only programs remaining, the 4-star wide receiver decided to take a step back and reopen his options to five. That added Alabama, Ole Miss and Tennessee to the mix. For more information on all of these schools, check out Copeland’s 1-on-1 video interview with SEC Country Florida recruiting reporter Zach Abolverdi from earlier in the week.
Copeland plans to announce his choice on national television at the Under Armour All-America Game.
Quick note on early signing period
For those of you deeply engaged in the recruiting world, you likely saw the most recent recruiting rule approved by the NCAA.
Now in effect, there will be a 72-hour early signing period at the end of December, which allows prospects to ink with schools — beginning this recruiting cycle — from Dec. 20 to Dec. 23. This would lock top targets into those programs a month earlier than the typical first Wednesday of February date and allow college programs to utilize their time and resources elsewhere throughout the January contact period.
It’s still not completely clear how this change will affect the recruiting landscape. However, for a useful perspective on the subject, check out Tommy Tuberville’s most recent edition of his weekly column for AuburnUndercover.com, where he outlines the effect he thinks it may have and what it means on the team side of things.
As for Auburn’s 2018 prospects, I reached out to all of the school’s commits in the class.
It’s too early to tell what this means for them. The legislation is so new that all of them have said they need to sit down with coaches and parents to discuss further what steps they should take with the new signing-period possibility.
Quarterback commit Joey Gatewood said he’s likely to sign early, but that’s not because of the new rule. He already planned to enroll early, so he will sign his letter of intent the same way early enrollees have been doing for years.
Miss an edition? Find the previous SEC Country Auburn Tigers recruiting notebooks right here.