J.C. Copeland figured he would be spending the weekend at South Carolina checking out Steve Spurrier’s program. However, a visit from LSU head coach Les Miles changed the Tennessee commitment’s plans for the weekend and possibly for the next four or five years.
“Everything went pretty good,” Copeland said. “It went real good.”
Miles visited Troup County fullback Brandon Worle, who is committed to LSU, this past week and Troup County head coach Bubba Jeter urged Miles to take a look at Copeland’s film. Miles liked what he saw and offered the visit opportunity which Copeland graciously accepted.
Copeland made the trip to Baton Rouge without an LSU offer in hand but he left with not only an offer to play for the Tigers, but also the opportunity to play college ball with his good friend Worle.
“The best thing about the weekend was getting to spend so much time with the coaches,” said Copeland. “Getting to know them was the big thing. Of course, getting offered was also big and it helped make it a real good weekend.”
Copeland played defensive end for Troup County but is projected to move inside for the Tigers. He also reported offers from Auburn, Ole Miss, Louisville and Maryland, amongst others.
LSU defensive line coach Brick Haley spoke with Copeland on the Tigers’ needs down in the trenches with only one defensive tackle committed for 2010 in Dexter Blackmon. That was something that really opened Copeland’s eyes to the opportunity at LSU.
“Coach Haley told me I’m more of a throwback player that he hadn’t seen in a long time,” said Copeland. “I’m someone who can play a lot of positions and he likes the way I get off the ball and get after the quarterback.”
Haley and Copeland spent a good amount of time together according to the standout lineman and he liked what he saw of the man who would coach his position should he decide to sign with LSU, on and off the field.
“Coach Haley is a good guy; a hilarious guy,” said Copeland, who was hosted by LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery. “He reminded me of one of my coaches from high school. He’s always cracking jokes but he’s as serious as can be on the field.”
Prior to leaving campus on Sunday, Copeland had a final one-on-one with LSU’s headman where Miles told him something that he will strongly consider over the next couple of days.
“I told him that I was going to go home and turn my phone off and sleep on it,” said Copeland. “He told me to take my time but he wanted me to know that he wants me at LSU.”
Copeland still has three schools that he is considering in Tennessee, LSU and South Florida, and as of now he plans to make his decision on signing day. While there are three horses still in the race, heading down the stretch it appears to be two that could go down to a photo finish.
“I’m still a soft verbal to Tennessee but LSU gave me something to think about,” Copeland said. “Both schools have a lot to offer and now I just have to go home and figure out where I belong. I’ll let everyone know at the same time but right now I don’t know what I want to do.”