No. 38 in ESPN Jr. 300 Jacob Copeland has Tigers on top

Phelan M. Ebenhack for ESPN

NEW ORLEANS -- Wide receiver Jacob Copeland, the 38th-ranked player in the ESPN Junior 300, has a top contender.

The 6-foot, 189-pound, prospect admittedly has a top five of Florida, Auburn, Clemson, Miami and North Carolina, but it’s Clemson that has made a big surge for the four-star pass-catcher from Pensacola, Florida.

“Right now, I have Clemson, Florida, Auburn, Miami and North Carolina at the top,” Copeland said. “But Clemson, they are set high for me. I just love their passing game and the way they throw the ball around. I would say Clemson is my leader.

“Clemson, that’s ‘Wide Receiver U’. They have like five receivers on the field at once, they are going to throw the ball around a lot. I have a good relationship with (offensive coordinator) Coach Jeff Scott. He just told me that I have a good skill set and he said if I just come in and work that I have a guarantee that I can come in and start.”

Despite Clemson being in the lead, the Gators are not far behind.

“Florida was my dream school growing up. I was the first recruit coach [Jim] McElwain offered when he took the job at Florida,”Copeland said. “We text just about every day and coach [Kerry] Dixon just texts me and tells me that if I come in and work I have a chance to earn a spot early on if Antonio Callaway leaves.”

Alabama was a team that most people felt would eventually land the talented athlete, but the Crimson Tide have fallen behind, according to Copeland.

“They still up there for me, but Alabama is a running team and I don’t really want to go to a running team. They wanted me to switch positions from receiver to DB and I listened to my mom and she was like ‘what got you here in the recruiting process?’ and I was like ‘wide receiver’, and she said ‘then stick to receiver.’ So that’s what I’m going to do.”

Copeland, who plans to make his commitment during the Under Armour All-America Game in January, said he will be paying close attention to how his favorite schools do this fall.

“I’m just going to watch what happens during the season. I’m going to watch how teams do, who throws the ball, what the depth charts look like. I know there is competition anywhere you go, but still, this is where I’ll be going for the next three or four years, so I just want to make sure the depth chart looks good.”