Top-100 overall recruit Jacob Copeland is with the Gators again — and this time for good.
The 4-star wide receiver committed to Florida on Wednesday afternoon during a ceremony at Escambia High School in Pensacola, Fla. Copeland chose the Gators over Alabama, Florida State and Tennessee.
The Under Armour All-American was a priority target for first-year coach Dan Mullen, who contacted Copeland the first day he took the Florida job and built a strong relationship with him during the final two months of the 2018 recruiting cycle.
Wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales served as Copeland’s primary recruiter and had an in-home visit with him every week of the contact period. Gonzales compared the state of Florida’s top receiver to former Gators star Percy Harvin (read more).
“Florida has always been a top school for me and Coach Mullen going there just made it official,” Copeland said. “He and Coach Gonzales have been recruiting me since they were at Mississippi State and we just kept it going at Florida. They got a new coaching staff and I like what they’re doing. They have a good background.”
Copeland received an offer from Florida as a high school freshman and committed to the previous staff last summer. The coaching changes caused him to re-open open his recruitment in November, but the hiring of Mullen put the Gators back in the mix.
Copeland took official visits to Tennessee (Dec. 15), Texas A&M (Jan. 19), Alabama (Jan. 26) and Florida (Feb. 2). The Crimson Tide were considered the biggest threat to UF, but Copeland’s relationship with Florida coaches and players — particularly freshman quarterback Emory Jones (read more) — helped the Gators outlast the national champions.
The 6-foot, 192-pound Copeland is ranked the nation’s No. 12 wide receiver and No. 69 overall prospect in the 247Sports composite. Florida now has 18 members in its 2018 class, which should finish in the top 15 nationally.