Addison Copeland’s early commitment to Rutgers came in large part because of then-wide receivers coach and primary recruiter Tiquan Underwood. While Copeland would eventually de-commit from the Scarlet Knights, both Copeland and Underwood have found themselves wind up at Pitt.
Copeland signed with Pitt on Early Signing Day in December, enrolling at Pitt in January, and Underwood officially accepted Pitt’s wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator position in February. Now, the wide receivers coach and wide receivers are reunited at Pitt.
While Copeland was recruited to Pitt by — and to play under — former wide receivers coach Brennan Marion, Copeland couldn’t be happier with the way events have worked out for Pitt’s wide receivers room.
“The way that it played out couldn’t be any better,” Copeland said at Pitt’s South Side facility Wednesday. “Me and coach Underwood have been tight for the last three, four years. He was the reason I had committed to Rutgers at one point in time, so me and him we’re tapped in as far as everybody else is on the team.”
The reunion, an unexpected reunion for Copeland, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound wideout, wound up being one of the best moments of his young Pitt career.
“It was crazy because there was talk about who the receivers coach was gonna be, and I remember one day I came in for lift,” Copeland said. “I walked up the stairs, and I heard the voice but I didn’t see the box and that’s the only way I can identify him without seeing him. So, I looked up and he was shaking people’s hands and he saw me and we had the little ‘two best buds see each other’ (look) … it was great, it was cool.”
While Copeland obviously had an excellent relationship with former wide receivers coach Brennan Marion, his bond with Underwood is strong — and, of course, it all starts with the High Top.
“It’s something about that box though,” Copeland joked. “The box definitely does something. We move the same. He keeps it 100 percent real, that’s how I like to keep things. He’s been there and done everything that I want to do, so that’s another reason.”
With Underwood providing a familiar face and strong positional coach, the foundation is set for Copeland’s early enrollment into Pitt, and now he’s just settling into his new life. It hasn’t necessarily been a hard adjustment to school and living life on his own for the first time, but he said the two hour college classes are something brand new.
In terms of adjusting to football at the college level, it took a bit of time to get synced up with his new schedule, but he’s had a lot of help from everyone within the program — being taken under the wide receiving corps’ wing, as he called it.
A loaded wide receiving room with Jordan Addison, Jared Wayne and Konata Mumpfield highlighting the starting unit is in place for 2022, and while some freshmen look to immediately jump into the starting lineup, Copeland appreciates the chance to take a step back and sit behind people he can learn from. A guy like Addison, he said, has someone of the best footsteps he can follow in.
However, that doesn’t mean Copeland won’t take every opportunity to make the most of his chances to step in and make an impact when called upon as a freshman — and he’ll have spring ball to showcase what he offers.
“I’m not selling myself short,” Copeland said. “I’m not holding myself to no boundaries or expectations. Whatever everybody else doing, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Despite being the No. 1 wide receiver in New York over the last three years, he wasn’t blessed with top-tier quarterback during his time at Western New York Maritime Charter, so with a chance to play with top-tier quarterbacks at Pitt, Copeland is excited to see just exactly what he can do himself.