As Jim McElwain tries to rebuild Florida football into a championship program, one of his mottos is “recruit daily or die.” Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest Florida recruiting news, tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators.
Jacob Copeland expecting big things at UF
Florida landed one of its biggest commitments of the Jim McElwain era Wednesday.
Top-100 overall prospect Jacob Copeland revealed his pledge to the Gators in an exclusive commitment video with SEC Country. The 4-star wide receiver from Escambia High School (Pensacola, Fla.) chose Florida over Alabama, which made late push with Copeland’s Monday visit to Tuscaloosa.
However, the Tide couldn’t top Copeland’s affinity for UF and relationship with McElwain and his staff.
“It feels great just knowing that I’ll be attending the University of Florida,” Copeland said. “I grew up watching the University of Florida and always had a passion for going there. The coaches have showed me love since my freshman year, before I blew up in recruiting.”
Copeland is ranked No. 9 at his position and No. 52 nationally in the 247Sports Composite. Despite being one of the highest-ranked commits in Florida’s 2018 class, Copeland is eager to compete for spot and hasn’t been promised playing time.
“Just knowing that we got a lot of savages coming in, I know that I have to come in and ball,” Copeland said. “Nothing is going to be given, just like the coaches tell you. You’ll have to come in and work for it at all times. … I’m going to work every day, come in for the big dog’s spot and takeover.”
The Gators are the only team in the country with commitments from two of the top 10 receivers in the 2018 cycle (Copeland and 4-star WR Ja’Marr Chase). And with 5-star quarterback Matt Corral on board, Copeland has high expectations for the passing game.
“Big things are coming with the offense,” Copeland said. “It’s all savages touching the field, so you know how we’re going to come in. All Bite 18, Gator Nation, let’s get it.”
Gators move into top 10
Florida now has a top-10 class for the second straight recruiting cycle.
With 16 pledges in place, the Gators are ranked No. 8 nationally and have the third-best class in the SEC behind Tennessee and LSU, according to the 247Sports Composite. However, UF has the league’s second-highest average star rating (89.72) behind Alabama (92.08).
For those who missed it, here is Copeland’s commitment video.
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.