The recent trend of college coaches choosing to “abandon ship” to other universities has had a significant effect on recruiting. The departure of Coach Lane Kiffin at Tennessee has placed the Volunteers Class of 2010 in turmoil as multiple prospective recruits have decided to reevaluate their decisions.
One of which was Troup County High School (Ga.) product J.C. Copeland (6’1, 245, 4.6). The three-star prospect offered his verbal pledge to Kiffin in May, and that decision stood strong until Kiffin decided to leave the Vols for the west coast.
Now, Copeland claims although Tennessee remains to be in the mix for his signature, he has decided to weigh all of his options. One of his remaining options was to take an official visit to South Carolina this weekend, but after a meeting with LSU head coach Les Miles, Copeland will be visiting Baton Rouge instead.
“I will be taking an official visit to LSU this weekend,” Copeland confirmed. “I don’t have an official offer yet, but I’m hoping to get one while I’m down there. Coach Miles was out here (Georgia) visiting (Brandon) Worle, and my coach and Worle told coach Miles about me. Then Coach Miles wanted to meet up with me, and so we did. He said he watched some of my highlight tape, and he liked what he saw.”
Copeland said that LSU is recruiting him as a defensive tackle and what Miles saw on his highlight reel from his senior season along with the thought that he can add weight to his frame is what grabbed Miles attention according to Copeland.
“Coach Miles asked me what I was doing this weekend,” said Copeland, who recorded 28 sacks and over 100 tackles as a senior. “I told him I was going down to visit South Carolina. He asked me if I would want to visit LSU this weekend instead, and I said yeah. So me and Coach (Bubba) Jeter will be going down there this weekend.”
According to Copeland, his eyes had been on the Tigers long before he decided on Tennessee. Depending on his visit down on the bayou, it is that same interest that might land LSU his signature.
“I want to go down there to see how it is,” Copeland stated. “I already had an interest in LSU before I committed to Tennessee. I liked their style of defense, and it seemed like they were always in the hunt for a national championship. I was really down to just Tennessee and South Florida, but now LSU is in it too.”
So, if Miles were to extend the big man an offer this weekend, would he commit on the spot?
“No, I would want to go back home and let my family help me decide,” Copeland responded. “I want to make my decision on Signing Day. But I like LSU and I’m eager to see if that will be an option for me.”