Weighing the decision to turn pro can be difficult. Should it be done and, when should it be done?
That could be the case for Jacob Copeland of Florida and Jaylon Robinson of UCF Both of the wide receivers are slated to play on opposite teams in the Gasparilla Bowl on Dec. 23.
While there are several other players at various positions on the football field are important, losing playmakers at wide receiver can be some of the toughest losses to overcome. College programs like Florida and UCF have to deal with it just about every season now.
It’s hard to know which college football players will follow through with actually playing in bowl games in today’s era of turning pro as soon as possible. In short, if a college team does not reach the four team College Football Playoffs, there’s a good chance that at least one player from a college team will declare he’s headed for the NFL and sit out the bowl game.
Both of Copeland and Robinson want what’s best for them and the people in their respective lives. Hard to blame them if they do in fact decide to head off for the National Football League. Both players have done well in college and are certainly capable of testing the NFL waters.
Take Copeland for instance. The former Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia player was a big-time recruit for the Gators and he’s done well in Gainesville.
He’s caught 39 passes for 607 yards and four touchdowns this season. Against Missouri, Copeland reeled in eight catches for 102 yards. Overall, he’s caught 84 passes for 1,331 yards and nine touchdowns during his college days with the Gators.
Copeland is a speedy wide receiver with a frame to take on defensive backs with his strength, too. Copeland is listed at 6’0” and 202 pounds.
Does he play for new Florida Head Football Coach Billy Napier or does he forgo his eligibility and head off for NFL riches?
Maybe Copeland suddenly decides it's time for him to bolt for the NFL, maybe not. It’s just hard to say because these young men have so many factors to weigh like their families, their current financial situation, the chance of being hurt in a final college game, etc.
That’s also the same situation for Robinson at UCF.
The speedster from Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal originally signed with Oklahoma before transferring to UCF in July of 2019 after one season with the Sooners.
The 5’9”, 165 pound Robinson has been a playmaker for UCF and Head Coach Gus Malzahn. This season, despite missing five-plus games with a knee injury, his 18 catches resulted in 322 yards and two scores. In 2020, he brought in 55 receptions for 579 yards and six touchdowns.
Robinson averaged 17.8 yards per catch last year and 17.9 this season. Those averages, along with the yards and touchdowns, are prime reasons for NFL scouts being interested in him despite missing playing time with his injury.
Overall, these are two really good college football wide receivers that could impact the game between Florida and UCF when they play each other in the Gasparilla Bowl on Dec. 23. Let’s see what they do. Their decisions could be pivotal in determining who wins the game.
Good luck to both players no matter what they decide to do with their NF.
For UCF coverage and recruiting information go to: The Daily Knight podcast. For more college football, UCF and recruiting information, go to Twitter: @fbscout_florida and @UCF_FanNation, as well as my YouTube Channel and Instagram page. Like and Subscribe!