Copeland Breaks Down Pledge Part I

We go in-depth with Michigan State pledge Vayante Copeland about his commitment after giving him a few days to take it all in.

When Spartan Digest caught up with Dayton (Ohio) Thurgood Marshall and Michigan State pledge Vayante Copeland about his commitment he was still in a state of shock. How is Copeland handling the end of his recruitment?

"It feels good," said Copeland. "I'm still working hard but it's a big relief to be done with all of it."

Sunday was Copeland's first visit to campus and he found it just the way he thought he would.

"It was the first time I visited campus," said Copeland. "I've always liked Michigan State since the first time I met with Coach (Harlon) Barnett and then Coach (Mark) Dantonio. But when I got to campus I could see it was laid out real nice and the stadium and facilities were great.

"The guide we had really got deep into everything and I liked how everything is spread out but not too far from where the stadium is. But I just really liked the campus and the people. That really caught my eye."

In some ways it was love at first site for the talented defensive back.

"The first time we pulled in and I saw the stadium I said wow," claimed Copeland. "Then we drove around campus for a little bit and then when I got in the Duffy Daugherty Building/Skandalaris Football Center and started seeing all the trophies and honors by former players I was like wow that is big.

"West Virginia was pretty nice, but when I saw Michigan State, I knew the weight room and everything was way bigger and it was the right place for me."


One of the reasons Copland fell in love with the Spartans early was the interest showed by Harlon Barnett.

"My relationship with Coach Barnett is really good," said Copeland. "I talk with Coach Barnett all the time because he's my guy. So when I got done touring the campus, I told him I had to tell him something. He asked me what I had to say and that is when I told him I wanted to be a Spartan. He wasn't in too much shock, but he asked me if I was positive that I wanted to be a Spartan and I told him yes. It was then he said lets go talk with Coach Dantonio.

"When we got with Coach Dantonio and I told him I wanted to be a Spartan he asked me if I was sure. I told him yes and he said congratulations.

"I was really excited because the stuff coach Dantonio has been doing with the program since he's been there is really great and positive. So when I told him, I was really excited because I felt I had made the right decision to the right school with the right coaching staff that I had a real relationship with.

"As I've said before, I talked with Coach Dantonio a lot on the phone and he has my respect. He had my respect before when he came to my school. No head coach from any of the schools that recruited me came to my school. So when he came to the school to let me know I had the offer, I said wow. Like I said it was really shocking that he came to the school."

Hometown Standout Sells MSU

While Spartan fans know all about the success the Spartans have seen in Cincinnati, they've also done well in Dayton, Ohio. During his visit Copeland was able to catch up with another athlete from his hometown.

"I've talked with Adreian Payne before," explained Copeland. "When he sees me he'll say hello. I use to see him around town when he played basketball at Jefferson. He told me there were a lot of things to do up there and how great the school is and how the academics are great and the coaching staff is great."

Copeland Sees Self In Dennard

However, it might have been current Spartans defensive back Darqueze Dennard that swayed Copeland that Michigan State would be a great fit.

"When I talked with Darqueze back in the corner, I was asking what the pros and cons were. He said there really weren't any cons except for the con he had and that was the weather since he's from Georgia.

"I'm from Ohio so I'm use to the weather. But he said the coaching staff tells you straight up and when they meet you they are how they are. They don't suck up to you and are actually the person who recruits you.

"When I talked with him, I really cherished the moment and was shocked because I see him all the time on the Big Ten Network. In fact, I have a picture of him in my room from a letter they sent me. He's going to be a big draft pick so I asked him a lot about the defensive backs perspective and how Coach Barnett coaches and I was really satisfied with the answers.

Stay tune for Part Two coming soon.

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