It’s finally Jacob Copeland’s turn to shine

Wide receiver Jacob Copeland came to Florida in the 2018 recruiting class as a player who could play three years for the Gators and depart for the NFL because he was a top 100 player nationally. But life has played out differently than expected because he is entering his fourth year with coach Dan Mullen and has seen seven of his skill position teammates be selected in the NFL draft.

This season the Gators will rely on Copeland to be their top receiver after former Florida stars Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney and Trevon Grimes went to the NFL. Mullen affirmed his faith in Copeland by awarding him with the No. 1 jersey. The jersey is a good omen for Copeland because every Florida player who has donned the number has gone on to be a first-round draft pick.

“It’s a really big privilege and I’ll feel like I’ll be accountable for everything that comes with the number,” Copeland said, according to Swamp247.

He added that his mindset has changed since the jersey number change. Copeland said he tries to help the younger receivers out more and make sure they understand everything because it was something he struggled with during his first years at Florida.

“I didn’t understand the development part of what was going on,” he said. “As I got older and seeing what it all took, the receivers, they come on, they catch on slowly, and they learn the process of what the game’s all about.”

However, many college football fans and media experts have doubts about whether the Gators can replace that kind of production from 2020.


Florida Gators 2021 regular season football scheduleQUIZ: Florida’s history against 2021 football opponents

“I don’t too much get into that because I know I got a great receiver coach,” he said. “Coach Billy (Gonzales) going to work us to death. He’s going to always make sure everybody on the same page. He’s going to push you to your limits. As long as I’ve got him in my corner, I feel like I’m going to be good this year, all the receiving corps, at that.”

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But one thing is for sure, Copeland is ready.

“He always preached that, he’s going to tell you that all the time,” he said. “Like, ‘Your time might not be now, it might be a week from now, it might be a year from now, two years from now. It’s all come down to when you’re going to be ready for your time to come.’”


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A look at Florida football’s history against opponents on the 2021 schedule

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