Addison Copeland became the first commit in the Class of 2022 for Rutgers nearly five months ago. On Tuesday, the Buffalo Western N.Y. Maritime wide receiver announced his decision to decommit from Rutgers.
Copeland went to Twitter to make the announcement and it came shortly after he received an offer from another big-time program.
Respect my decision‼️ pic.twitter.com/SrOccxpLwn— YAKBOY ENT. (@D1_AC3) February 9, 2021
Prior to his decommitment from Rutgers, Copeland shared that he received an offer from Notre Dame.
“For their football program, I know that they’re a staple in college football,” Copeland told Rivals. “I know that their history is very accomplished and I know the effect that they have on anybody dedicated to football. I know it’s a big school for football but as far as the institute, that’s something that I need to look into and do my research on.”
This comes as a bit of a blow for the Scarlet Knights, who recruited Copeland to lead a potential group of talented receivers. The 6-3, 190-pound Copeland is a hot commodity because of his speed at the position. He can play on both sides of the ball but will be a receiver at the next level.
The Scarlet Knights are not completely out of the running for Copeland but his decision to decommit says a lot.
“The reason I decommitted from Rutgers was just to show that I’m open to recruiting and building relationships with other coaches,” Copeland said. “I want to find the best fit for me and where I feel like I’ll be utilized the best. The Rutgers coaches were really supportive and understanding. They said that they’re going to continue to stay in contact with me and I’m thankful for that.”
Copeland is not the first case where we have seen Notre Dame cause a decommitment. Audric Estime, the No. 1 running back in the Class of 2021 in New Jersey, originally committed to Michigan State. During the early signing period, Estime flipped and signed with the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame joins a list of offers that includes Rutgers, UMass, BYU, Indiana, and Buffalo. At the time of his commitment to Rutgers, Copeland cited his relationship with the coaching staff. This is something that he also mentioned when receiving an offer from Notre Dame.
“I talked to the offensive coordinator, coach Rees,” Copeland said. “He asked me what side of the ball I’d rather be on. I chose offense and he gave me to the receivers coach. We talked a little bit and he eventually gave me the offer. It’s big. A lot of people from where I’m from don’t really get that kind of opportunity. I’m thankful to the coaching staff for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to someday possibly play for them.”
Copeland will be planning visits in the upcoming months. His plans for the summer and fall were impacted by the pandemic.
Copeland was initially the first commit for Rutgers back in September. From that point on, they have received commitments from other receivers such as Rashad Rochelle and JoJo Bermudez. Greg Schiano has recruited offensive line heavy in the Class of 2022. The Scarlet Knights have landed Kwabena Asamoah, Joe De Croce, Nelson Monegro, and most Taj White. It’s very early in the cycle, but even after Copeland is no longer part of the class, Rutgers is still ranked 11th nationally and 4th in the Big Ten per 247 Sports.