ARP — As Kyle Copeland began to sign a national letter of intent, the Arp quarterback’s pen failed him.
“Great,” he thought. “Another setback.”
Moments later, with a replacement pen in hand, Copeland committed to the Air Force Academy.
“It feels great — a dream come true,” Copeland said afterward. “It’s something you dream about your whole life. It feels good to finally get it done.”
Copeland, a three-year starter under center for the Tigers, amassed more than 2,000 total yards his senior year but did not receive any offers until Air Force came calling.
“They offered; I committed,” said Copeland of a limited recruiting process.
“When they offered me it wasn’t much of a decision.”
The Falcons run an offense that was the third-best rushing attack in the nation last year at 314.8 yards per game.
Copeland said he likes running the ball as a quarterback, as exhibited by his 977 yards (7.2 per carry) and 22 touchdowns on the ground this season. He also completed 55 percent of his passes for 1,318 yards.
“He’s very athletic; he runs well,” Arp head coach Dale Irwin said. “He can recognize defenses and see what they’re trying to do scheme-wise against him. He does a good job of getting in the right play.
“He was our leader on offense. We ran our offense through him.”
Irwin added that he thinks Copeland will be a great fit in Colorado Springs, Colo., both in terms of athleticism and disposition. Irwin described Copeland as a true leader.
“He’s got a ton of character, which is what they’re looking for,” Irwin said. “He’s going to be a kid that they want because of all those qualities that he has.
“It’s one of those things that not everybody gets an opportunity to do and when they ask you to play football as well as serve your country, it just makes it that much better. We’re very proud of him.”
Copeland said he worked hard every day to be the best player, teammate and leader he could be. It paid off with a scholarship offer from a school with national prestige and life-altering pledge.
“It’s a big commitment but it’s a good challenge and it’s a great opportunity,” Copeland said. “It opens up a lot of doors for me.
“I know how great of an opportunity it is and I’m ready for the challenge. I’m up there for the long haul.”