What is ND's Interest in TE Cope-Fitzpatrick?

Notre Dame recently visited Whitney High's(Rocklin, Calif.) Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, who is Scout.com's fourth-rated tight end in the 2012 class. He does not have an offer from the Irish, but is one coming? Cope-Fitzpatrick spoke to IrishEyes.com about it.

Whitney High (Rocklin, Calif.) tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick knows Notre Dame has interest. Why else would assistant coach Mike Denbrock visit the campus a few weeks ago?

However, the next step for Cope-Fitzpatrick is learning the level of interest the Irish have in him.

"Coach Denbrock came out to my school a couple of weeks ago to see the area, but he hasn't come to one of my practices," Cope-Fitzpatrick said. "He says he's going to be back again next week. He said he was going to watch my film but I haven't heard back from him.

"I'm kind of impressed the Notre Dame people would come out and take a look at me, but I'm not really trying to stretch my neck out with them to come with an offer."

Cope-Fitzpatrick is Scout.com's No. 4-rated tight end in the 2012 class, but he does not hold an offer from the Irish.

And while his thinking could change if Notre Dame extends an offer when the staff returns, Cope-Fitzpatrick is ready to proceed in other directions if the Irish don't move quickly.

"I want to go to a place where they want me there, and where I feel I'm their guy," he said. "If they don't think I'm the guy, or they don't want me that badly, I feel like I'm wasting their time."

Regardless of the situation, Cope-Fitzpatrick has plenty of options. He holds offers from Miami, California, Colorado, UCLA, Nebraska, Washington, Washing State, Oregon State and Utah, and more could be on the way.

"My plan is to keep going to camps and keep working out, and have someone come out and watch our spring practices and try to pick up as many offers as I can," he said. "Then, really go do my research and buckle down, and see which schools are going to make that top five or seven teams, and (trim the list) in late June or early July.

"I'm going to take all my officials and make a decision in early January."

As a junior, Cope-Fitzpatrick caught 29 passes for 327 yards and seven touchdowns. He also made 21 tackles as a defensive end. And while Cope-Fitzpatrick knows the spread offense, he may shy away from it in college.

"The school I'm at plays in a spread, and I've played in a spread previously," the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Cope-Fitzpatrick said. "I like the spread offense, but I feel like the skill set I have I'd like to play in a pro-style."

Finally, Cope-Fitzpatrick said the location of the school will play a factor in his decision.

"That's very big," he said. "I'd like to be in a big city, close to an airport so my family can come to the games and not have to rent a car and drive a couple of hours. That's really big for me."

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