Copeland Shines In The Spotlight

With an opening 88-yard kickoff return, Michigan State pledge Vayante Copeland was ready to show why he's one of Ohio's top prospects in the 2014 recruiting class. Following the game, Spartan Digest spoke with the future Spartan.

In a game where many have Cincinnati (Ohio) Winton Woods favored by a large margin, Dayton (Ohio) Thurgood Marshall two-way standout Vayante Copeland looked to show why Michigan State made an early push to get him in the 2014 recruiting class.

With Spartans defensive backs coach Harlon Barnett in attendance, Copeland opened the night with a spectacular 88-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff and would follow later in the game with a 49-yard run for a score and an 80-yard interception for what would be his final score of the night.

Or was it?

With the game clock ticking down, Thurgood Marsahll had once last play with a pass in the end zone to Copeland where he went up to the balls highest point, grabbed it at the same time a Winton Woods defender did. Both players came down with their feet in the end zone and an official trailing the play out of position making the call the catch was out of bounds.

Video would later show the play should have been ruled a catch and would have given the Cougars a chance to tie the game and force overtime.

Following the game, Copeland was not worried about the final play.

"It was a good game and we ended up short on the scoreboard," said Copeland. "But it was a good game for me and our team and a good test to go against a tough Winton Woods team."

Prior to the game many didn't feel the Cougars had a chance against a bigger Winton Woods program. However, when it was over, Ohio and Winton Woods knew more about the program out of the Dayton Public School system.

"We don't really worry about what people say," he said. "We just came in here with a spark and looked to use this game as motivation and it was a good game. This was a big test for us and we'll look at the file and see what we did wrong and right and go from there."

As for his performance, Copeland said nothing is planned.

"I don't plan how things go," stressed Copeland. "I have a good offensive line and one of the best offensive line coaches. When I get the ball I just try to make plays and do what I've been doing since I was young.

"I don't get too many kickoff returns as teams often kick away from me. But I saw the crease and got the ball and just tried to make a positive play and it went for a touchdown."

Copeland will next visit Michigan State for the Spartans battle against rival Michigan and will be joined by his mother who will visit MSU for the first time.


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