Copier Looks to Copy Pitta and Others

Chris Copier from Bingham High School has accepted a preferred walk-on spot at BYU, a program that has been very friendly to walk-on tight ends in the past. Copier looks to emulate the exploits of such former Cougars as his cousin Doug Jolley and Dennis Pitta by becoming one of the top tight ends ever to pass through the program.

Chris Copier is a 6-foot-6-inch, 235-pound tight end prospect from Bingham High School that accepted a preferred walk-on spot this past January during a visit to BYU's campus. Assistant coach Brandon Doman was his primary recruiter and was the coach he committed to.

Copier is an exciting prospect that wasn't able to garner much recruiting attention during his critical junior season due to an injury that kept him out for the duration. He returned in good form and switched over to tight end after focusing primarily on the defensive end position, and he gained some attention from potential recruiters.

"Utah was the school that was most interested and I really didn't hear anything from BYU during my senior year," he said. "I really thought Utah was where I was going to end up, but they just didn't contact me anymore after the season and that's when BYU really started to get interested."

Copier was contacted by Coach Doman, and their discussions led to Copier accepting a preferred walk-on spot on the team. Throughout the process he had a lot of nudging from his first-cousin and former Cougar tight end Doug Jolley.

"Doug Jolley is someone I really look up to and always have," he commented. "I've followed him very closely and have become a huge fan of whatever team he's played for. He's given me a lot of good advice for sure and I always listen carefully to whatever advice he gives."

Jolley came to BYU as a quarterback prospect, but eventually switched to tight end much like Copier did during his senior season of high school. Now that Copier is set to join BYU's program, it is hoped that he'll copy the exploits of his cousin and other walk-on tight ends such as Dennis Pitta.

BYU is stacked at the tight end position this next season with a lot of talented yet inexperienced players. The graduation of Pitta and Andrew George has left a wide opening, and players such as Richard Wilson, Mike Muehlmann, Devin Mahina, Austin Holt and others will compete for the starting role.

Holt is a former Bingham Miner and was one of the most highly recruited players BYU has ever brought into its program. Although they were teammates, Copier never really had the chance to learn from Holt as he played the defensive end position as a sophomore when Holt was a senior. Having been his teammate, Copier is very aware of just how talented Holt is and how difficult it will be to beat him out at the position.

"I know that all the guys I'll be competing with are great players, but it's my goal to beat them out and we'll see how it goes. I want to play and all I can do is focus and work as hard as I can and we'll see what happens."

While tight end is Copier's focus now, there has been some talk that he may end up playing another position such as defensive end, linebacker or even offensive line while at BYU.

"We'll see how it works out, but right now I'm just focusing on playing tight end," he said.

Copier is relatively new to the position, and given Bingham's run-heavy offensive system, he didn't have too many balls thrown his way this past season. Despite that, he feels confident that he has the athletic goods to compete immediately for a spot at tight end.

"I'm tall, I have good hands and I'm very good after I catch the ball in getting yards," he mentioned. "I averaged around 25 yards per reception last year, but most of those yards came catching short passes where I was able to gain a lot of extra yardage."

Copier decided to accept his preferred walk-on spot at BYU after strongly considering scholarship offers from Weber State, Snow College and Northern Arizona, but believes he made the right decision for a lot of reasons.

"I love BYU," he said. "Both of my parents went to BYU, I have a sister that is down there, and I love their program and I love BYU's environment. I haven't met with Coach Mendenhall yet, but will do that this week. I'm very excited for my opportunity to play there. I'm very aware of how walk-ons are treated at BYU and how well walk-ons do in the program, and that was a huge plus in my mind."

Copier is LDS, but does not have definite plans to serve a mission. Currently he's competing on Bingham's lacrosse team and is attending SPARQ workouts in hopes of being able to prepare himself to compete for BYU's open tight end spot for this next season.

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