Copeland a ‘diamond in the rough'

Though Louisville was the only school to offer under-the-radar wide receiver Damian Copeland, Palmetto (Fla.) HS coach Raymond Woodie believes the Cardinals are getting a diamond in the rough. Copeland and Woodie discussed the commitment to Louisville with

"I'm really excited and I'm looking forward to getting started up there," Damian Copeland said. "I wanted to make my decision so I can stay focused on football and school. I'm graduating in December and I wanted to get the recruiting process out of the way. I really like Louisville a lot. So that's why I went to Louisville."

After attending Louisville's Senior Development Camp last weekend, Copeland decided that the Cardinals had everything he was looking for in a college.

"It was nice," said Copeland. "I liked all the coaches, the atmosphere and the facilities."

As a junior, Copeland made 39 receptions for 600 yards. Known as a speedy wideout, Copeland also plays a physical brand of football, making 18 pancake blocks last season.

Damian Copeland is Louisville's fourth
commitment in the 2009 class.

"He's an awesome kid," Woodie said. "He has all the measurables. He's 6-foot, 172 and he ran a 4.42 at the University of Florida camp which was one of the fastest times. He ran a 4.46 at Georgia's camp and he has a 40 inch vertical. So he's a legit 4.4 guy."

Copeland believes his speed and hands are his biggest strengths as a wide receiver.

"I'm really fast and I catch everything that is thrown my way," Copeland said. "And I guess I run great routes. That's what Louisville and Coach K told me. I've always been confident in my route running."

"I always try to pancake (block) the corner when it's not thrown my way," added Copeland.

Copeland said he's in the process of setting up an official visit to Louisville this fall. Copeland also said that will be his only visit and that he's firm in his commitment to the Cardinals. "I'm done. It's Louisville all the way," Copeland said.

Copeland is on track to graduate early from high school and plans to enroll at UofL next January.

"His goal is to play as a true freshman," said Woodie. "He's a hard-working kid and he's going to do exactly what you want and he'll pay attention to detail. Coach K and Tony Alford both said they liked the way he blocked on film. He's an excellent blocker. He has a tenacious mentality."

Woodie said Copeland already has a qualifying standardized test score based on his GPA. "He's a kid you can trust and he's a talented kid," Woodie said. "He made All-Area last season. He's a leader and has huge upside. I really feel he's a diamond in the rough. I can go on and on about his character."

According to Woodie, Louisville was Copeland's only official scholarship offer. Syracuse verbally offered, Buffalo was close to offering and schools like Georgia had him on their recruiting board.

"Everybody had him on their board, even Georgia," Woodie said. "Louisville went with him because of his measurables, his upside and his skills. I think he's a steal. Now that he's committed you're going to see a whole lot of other programs want to get involved. But I know with his character he's not going to do that."

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