Jacob Copeland breaks down workouts with former NFL star, time at Maryland

Maryland already has former players like Stefon Diggs and DJ Moore shining in the NFL, but the program could watch more star receivers emerge at the next level with the 2023 NFL Draft roughly two months away. Wide receiver Jacob Copeland is among those players hoping to hear his name called after one season with Maryland.

“Growing up in the south, not many people was like up north fan and just saying that I was going to Maryland, like a lot of people did look at me crazy. I felt like it was the best option for me so it really didn’t matter what they thought or how they looked at it. I’m the one who had to deal with that decision, to live with that decision.”

After transferring into the program last January, Copeland immediately filled a big void after enrolling with Dontay Demus and Jeshaun Jones sidelined for spring ball as they recovered from season-ending injuries. That gave the former SEC star a chance to build his rapport with quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa as the two were dialed in for both scrimmages then spring game. Copeland went on to play in all 12 regular season games and finished with 376 yards and two touchdowns on 26 catches, but he admitted he “didn’t have the best season that I wanted at Maryland” as a group of future NFL receivers jockeyed for targets.

With the room looking to end their college careers on a high note, that created a bit of a logjam at times as Copeland finished fourth on the team in catches. After leading Florida in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns in 2021, Copeland’s one season with the Terps was enough tape to draw an invite to the Shrine Bowl earlier this month where he drew rave reviews in practice. “I felt that I was always gonna be one of those receivers that stood out from everyone. I felt that if I did that, everything else was working out perfectly fine for me. So it was like, come like that to Vegas, head level and everything. I felt that the only thing I had to do was go down, put my head down and go to work and everything else show for assessment.”

The former Florida receiver was one of seven invited to the 2023 NFL combine where he’ll look to elevate his draft ranking and become a possible day two pick. “With that season that I had, the scouts and everything, it didn’t go unnoticed. The scouts knew and they knew what I contribute to.” Copeland will get a chance to prove himself again on Maryland’s pro day set for March 29, one day after the start of spring practice. Until then, he’s training with a former NFL receiver whose name rings a bell for Ravens fans.

“Throughout the week, the receivers actually workout with Anquan Boldin so he had a lot of success at the NFL, so learning from him and taking some knowledge from him, it really helped me out over the time of this process.” Both physical receivers, Copeland will look to soak in as much as he can with the NFL Draft less than two months away. “Being a receiver, how you’re going to run your routes, how you’re prepare for this week, prepare for this opponent and how you’re going to beat this opponent on this play or this rep … the things that you would need to know to be able to go against a player like Jalen Ramsey and all those players.”

Copeland also looked back on his decision to transfer to Maryland and team up with head coach Mike Locksley.

“I feel like he most definitely going to take it there because I feel he had the experience being at like more of a bigger school. He knows the culture for winning, like being up with [Nick] Saban and all that. He built that establishment and he felt he can be a part of something and he gonna add on to that. Like he learned from one of the best coaches in college football and I feel like he can add on his knowledge as well. So as him bringing top talent, top recruits to the University of Maryland, it’s all going [to] depend on the time. Sooner or later, Maryland is going to be one of them teams that people gonna be like, okay, I want my kids to go here.”

He also had high praise for his former quarterback with a chance to set Big Ten records in his fourth season with the program.

“He already broke half, so I feel like there [isn’t] much more, he can break, but I feel like he going to break some more though.”

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