Intro: Myles Copeland talks visit
"It was a really cool visit," said Myles Copeland. "We got to hear Coach Snyder speak. He's a great guy. He knows what it takes to win consistently in college football. It's amazing how he turned around a program that had been down for so long and made it to 11 straight bowls games.
All of the staff are back from that time and are determined to get the program back to where it was during the 90s. That's really eye catching for a recruit to see when they visit."
Copeland, 6-1, 230, has grown accustomed to winning at Wichita Collegiate. He started right away as a freshman, and his team is 32-3 in the three years he's been there, winning a state championship in 2009. This was his third Junior Day event after previous visits to Kansas and Oklahoma State.
"It's just got that homey feel to it," said Copeland of the Kansas State campus. "The facilities are great, not over-the-top like they were at Oklahoma State. K-State has the fifth biggest indoor practice facility in the nation. The campus I like a lot. It feels like being at home."
Copeland is currently hearing from Kansas, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Missouri, Minnesota, Northern Iowa, and North Dakota. Although he didn't leave with an offer from K-State he feels like he's on the same page with linebackers coach, Chris Cosh.
"We went into Coach Cosh's office for his presentation," Copeland said. "He told us what he likes to see in his linebackers. The main thing he stresses is fundamentals. He said that they'd be offering two high school linebackers and one JuCo linebacker for this year's class, but that could change."
As a junior, Copeland made 90 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and one interception which he returned 90 yards for a touchdown. He made All-League at both linebacker and offensive lineman (also plays guard), and 3A All-State honorable mention.
"Fundamentally I'm sound," said Copeland. "I've been playing linebacker since the 5th grade. I know coverages, study the game, and play football smart. I have great lateral movement, and Coach Cosh said that's something he really likes to see in his linebackers, good lateral quickness. He pays more attention to your shuttle than your 40 time. So in the off-season I've been working on improving my speed, agility, endurance, and getting faster laterally."
Wichita Collegiate teammate, Trace Clark, a defensive end who has a Kansas State offer, was also there for Junior Day. Copeland made the trip with his father.
"It was an exclusive Junior Day," said Copeland. "There were only about 14 of us there. There was just one other linebacker, I believe from Houston.
"My Dad loves it. I think a big reason is because the coaches want me there, and that's the kind of place I want to be. Academics are No. 1 for me. They preached academics (at K-State). I think they have the best graduation rate in the Big 12."
Although he's received heavy interest from both the Wildcat and Jayhawk football programs, Copeland knows he still has work to do before he secures an offer.
"I'm planning on going back to Kansas and Kansas State spring practices and spring games," said Copeland. "This summer I'm going to camp at K-State, and they're going to further evaluate me and how I start off as a senior and then decide.
"I think I'm in good shape. They want Kansas kids who want to win with good work ethic, and I think I'm that type of player."
This coming season is big for Copeland in a lot of ways. On offense he'll move to fullback and will become a key contributor on defense at middle linebacker.
"My goal is to win state," said Copeland about his senior season. "My job is to make the team better. I'd like to break my old tackle record of 104 from my sophomore season and make more interceptions."
Copeland wears No. 56 for the Collegiate Spartans and for a good reason.
"When my Grandpa died I asked him what number he wore," said Copeland. "He played at football at Wichita State. He scribbled down the number 56, and it was the last thing he wrote. I wear the number to honor him."
Copeland was named the youngest captain in team history as a freshman. He has been a captain in his sophomore and junior seasons as well. In school, he reports at GPA of 3.6 at the academically challenging prep school. He hopes to study business in college.