Mom's furious reaction steals show at recruit's televised school decision


National Signing Day is one of the landmark moments in an athlete’s life. It should be a joyous occasion not only for the athlete but also for his or her family.

But someone forgot to tell that to the mother of prospect Jacob Copeland.

Copeland is a four-star receiver from Pensacola, Florida, who made his commitment live on TV.

It was SEC or bust for Copeland as he had official visits to Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas A&M.

He had narrowed that list down to three schools with Texas A&M the odd man out. He laid out the hats of Tennessee, Alabama and Florida at his table before making his announcement.

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With his mother sitting to his right and wearing both Alabama and Tennessee gear, it was apparent which of those three schools she didn’t want her son to choose.

The rest of Copeland’s family was also wearing either Alabama or Tennessee colors, so one could assume that Florida was out of the picture.

But you know what they say about assuming …

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Do you think Jacob Copeland made the right choice?

Copeland, to the surprise of his family and the shock of his mother, picked the Gators — prompting his mother to get up and leave, walking in front of the camera on the way out.

When asked who it was that disappeared, Copeland had to awkwardly answer, “That was my mom.”

There was a happy ending to the story as his mother later rejoined him and gave him a hug.

It’s clear this was a tough decision for Copeland and one that he struggled with since first verbally committing to Florida six months ago. He decommitted once coach Jim McElwain and the school parted ways in November, only to follow through with his initial commitment.

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The night before signing his letter of intent, Copeland hinted that there was some acrimony among members of his family in a Facebook post.

If Copeland can take any solace from what happened on signing day, he has to look no further than Landon Collins. Six years ago, Collins announced his commitment to Alabama, much to the displeasure of his mother sitting next to him.

“I feel that LSU is the better place for him to be. LSU Tigers No. 1. Geaux Tigers,” said Collins’ mom.

She eventually came around, and Collins went on to become an All-American at Alabama, win a national championship and become a two-time Pro Bowler with the New York Giants.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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