The Florida Gators have suffered a few losses on the recruiting trail over the last few days. However, on Thursday afternoon, the Gators and new head coach Billy Napier officially lost the team’s best receiver from 2021.
Florida wide receiver Jacob Copeland has officially entered his name into the transfer portal, according to a statement he posted on Twitter.
“After much thought, prayer and discussion with my friends and family, I have made the decision to enter the transfer portal,” Copeland said in the note. “Although my last game as a Gator is coming soon, I will always be a Gator at heart!”
Copeland was Florida’s top receiver in Dan Mullen’s final season in Gainesville. Over the course of the three years he spent on the field, Copeland hauled in 89 total catches for 1,331 yards and nine touchdowns for the Gators. Copeland’s most productive season by far was in 2021 when he had 607 yards and four touchdown catches on 39 receptions. Additionally, Copeland led the Gators’ offense in all three of those categories.
As a recruit, Copeland’s connection to Tennessee was very apparent. The Vols were in his final Top 3, along with Alabama and Florida. However, in the commitment video that has since gone viral from 2018, the reaction was shocking, to say the least. Copeland’s mom, who was wearing a Tennessee hat and Alabama sweatshirt, walked about from behind the desk when her son made his announcement.
The redshirt junior wide receiver from Pensacola, FL is now the first starter that Napier has lost to the transfer portal since taking over as head coach.
According to Thomas Goldkamp of 247 Sports, “Copeland had expressed frustration at various points in the season on social media over his lack of targets during the season.”
Forever grateful gator nation! 🐊 pic.twitter.com/1fTWXwszsn
— Jacob Copeland (@JCope1era) December 9, 2021