GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Several 2018 recruits visited Florida on Saturday, with Jacob Copeland being the top prospect on campus.
The 4-star wide receiver from Pensacola, Fla., made his second trip to UF in the last three months. He attended the Gators’ last home game against South Carolina on Nov. 12.
Copeland is a consensus top-100 recruit and the No. 1-ranked WR from the state of Florida, according to the 247Sports Composite.
The 6-foot-1, 188-pound prospect has been a priority target for Jim McElwain since he took Florida’s head coaching job. The two met for a half hour in McElwain’s office.
“Coach Mac talked to me for a good 30 minutes,” Copeland said. “I was one of the first players he offered when he got to Florida, so he’s wanted me for two years now. He’s shown me nothing but love and he told me to join the Gator family.”
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Copeland attended the UF basketball game Saturday and sat with receivers coach Kerry Dixon II. They also spent time together outside of the arena.
“We talked for about an hour,” Copeland said. “Coach Dixon was explaining how he’s training his players for the NFL and then he showed me video. That caught my eye right there. What he’s teaching them now is what they’ll be learning in the league.
“He also said, ‘I don’t care if you’re a true freshman or a redshirt senior, the best of the best will play.’ He’s being real, too. Look at Antonio Callaway last year, Tyrie Cleveland this year. He told me I have the talent and work ethic to be next.”
Copeland said his early leaders are Clemson, Florida, Florida State and Miami, and he also has interest in West Coast schools such as Baylor and Southern Cal. He plans to release a top 5 in the spring.
Copeland initially wanted to commit on his 18th birthday, July 19. But now he plans to reveal his decision at the 2018 Under Armour All-America Game.
“I want to my commitment to be a one-time thing. I don’t want to decommit or go somewhere else. That ain’t me,” Copeland said. “Announcing at the Under Armour game will be special. That’s a big moment and it’s on TV, so I can let the whole world know where I’m going.
“My mind is already narrowed down. I don’t have interest in anybody else, so recruiting is no big deal to me. I’m just going to take my visits, enjoy the process and make my commitment when I’m done with everything.”