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With the dead period now in effect, SEC Country is counting down the top-five recruiting targets for Florida in the Class of 2018.
No. 3 is Jacob Copeland, a 4-star wide receiver from Escambia High School in Pensacola, Fla.
Recruiting importance of Jacob Copeland
Florida once had five wide receivers committed, but that number is now down to one. And it’s probably just a matter of time before Corey Gammage joins the de-commitment list. Gators coach Dan Mullen is basically starting from scratch at the position, but one of his top targets is a familiar face. Copeland committed to Florida over Alabama in early August, then re-opened his recruitment last month because of the coaching changes at UF. However, Mullen & Co. have history with Copeland and he is a priority to the new staff — especially with the recent defections.
Biggest competition for Jacob Copeland
Tennessee is trending for Copeland, but Alabama is still the biggest threat to Florida. The Crimson Tide have been pursuing the top-100 overall prospect for a year and a half. His primary recruiter at Alabama was former defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who just became the head coach at Tennessee. Copeland is now considering the Vols because of Pruitt, but he also has a close relationship with Alabama coach Nick Saban and assistant Derrick Ansley. Copeland officially visited Tennessee on Dec. 12 and likely will take trips to Alabama and Florida in January.
Signing day projection for Jacob Copeland
Copeland isn’t committing until National Signing Day, which is good news for the Gators. That gives Mullen time to conduct an in-home visit and bring Copeland back to Gainesville for an official visit. Mullen and wide receivers coach Billy Gonzalez recruited Copeland when they were at Mississippi State and that relationship was rekindled this month. It also helps that the Gators have found their quarterback of the future in Emory Jones, who has a friendship with Copeland and will be on campus when he visits. Florida is Copeland’s dream school and now has a QB recruit and a coaching staff that he likes. I think those factors will result in a re-commitment.
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