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Marquise Copeland Is Officially A Bearcat

Under Butch Jones the Bearcats seriously under recruited the defensive line. Since taking over the Bearcats program Tommy Tuberville has moved to address that issue with big influxes of talent in each of the last two recruiting classes. The best of the bunch in the 2014 class is Marquise Copeland of Bedford High School.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Vitals

  • 6'3" 230
  • Defensive End
  • Bedford High School

Video

Quick Take

Lets start with the background, Marquise Copeland is a state qualifying wrestler, or he was as a junior before giving it up this season so that he could concentrate on adding strength and weight to his frame. There are certain skills that translate pretty directly from wrestling to football. One of them is a sort of intrinsic understanding of leverage. Wrestling is all bout leverage and balance, especially in the upper weight classifications* where Copeland did his work. The bigger the weight, the more important maintaining balance becomes. You can see how that is a translatable skill for a defensive end who will one day be facing 6'5" 300 pound athletes on the regular.

*He wrestled 220 pounds last season.

its hard to see those skills translate on the tape, but you can see that he is a very good football player. He has an unbelievably quick first step and he is capable of closing with incredible speed for his size. But more often than not he plays under control. That is a good thing in my book, because it shows that he was well coached. The biggest question for Copeland as he heads towards his freshman season is how well he is prepared? Of all the freshmen on defense he stands the best chance to make an impact because defensive end is such a question mark heading into the off season? If Copeland can contribute the coaches most likely won't be in a position where they can turn down anyone who can help this year for the luxury of a year of development.