Now healthy, Copeland making an impact

After three years of being nagged by the injury bug, wide receiver Damian Copeland is making his presence felt. has more on the junior receiver who is currently tied for the team lead in receptions.

As a highly sought after prospect from Palmetto (Fla) High School - holding offers from the likes of Alabama, South Florida, Syracuse and West Virginia - wide receiver Damian Copeland came to the University of Louisville with high expectations.

Unfortunately, until this spring, Copeland has been slowed by injury. Following a red shirt season, Copeland appeared in seven games, making 8 catches for 113 yards in 2010.

As a sophomore, he suffered multiple injuries, which limited him to just one game appearance.

"Last year I had a hamstring injury the whole season," said Copeland. "Going into the Murray State game I pulled my hamstring and then going into the North Carolina game, I pulled it again."

Spending a year on the sideline due to injury was difficult, but Copeland (6'1, 185) still viewed the time as an opportunity to improve.

"The biggest thing that I learned was patience," he explained. "Patience, growing up and taking care of my body were the main things. Also, staying in the film room and studying my opponents."

Copeland has been healthy since spring practice and the time he spent preparing for his moment to arrive is paying off. His one personal goal entering his junior season was to simply execute what he's learned.

"Just to come out and execute and play like my coaches know I can."

He's currently tied for the team lead with 10 receptions. He hauled in a career-high 4 catches against both Missouri State and Kentucky. His diving 23-yard reception on a third-and-nine from the Cardinals two-yard line was's play of the game in Louisville's 32-14 win over Kentucky.

"It feels amazing," he said of his time on the field this season. "It's been a long time coming."

His play is one of the reasons that the Cardinals (3-0) are off to the program's best start since the 2006 Orange Bowl season.

"It feels amazing," he said of being undefeated. "We practice hard and I think we deserve it."

At times this season, the Cardinal offense has appeared nearly unstoppable. Against North Carolina, the Cardinals seemed to move the ball with ease, converting all of it's eight first half possessions for scores.

"That's what we do in practice," he said. "We've been doing this since spring ball, so when we're clicking, I don't think anybody can stop us. The biggest thing is to execute."

While his statistics are something that will make opponents take notice, Copeland also sports something else that should draw their - and everyone else's - attention. A mohawk highlighted with a color that Charlie Strong appropriately labeled.

"Honey mustard," Copeland explained. "I had a mohawk at the Belk Bowl, so it's something new. I get it done back home in Florida, my aunt does it. A lot of people talk about it. They say you can see me from a mile away."

He also has no plans to change it.

"I think it fits me."

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