The Gaffney Indians are one of the state's perennial powerhouse programs in AAAA and they return plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season. The biggest question mark most people had concerning the Indians was at quarterback replacing Shrine Bowl selection DeEdward Burris. 2012 quarterback Joey Copeland won the battle and played his first game as a starter last Friday night against Boiling Springs. The results from that battle quieted many of those doubters.
Scout.com caught up with Copeland this week to talk about his first game as the starter for the Indians when they took on the Bulldogs and emerged with an impressive 47-0 win. He talked about how he felt heading into the contest.
"As a first year starter, I went in with a slight bit of nervousness. I feel that I came in with confidence knowing that I was the team's leader and knowing that we must get the win."
When the game was over Copeland put together some big numbers in the statistics column. To the tune of 22-32 for 369 yards and 4 touchdowns with 12 rushes for 39 yards and 2 more touchdowns on the ground. Not too shabby for a first time starter, but was Copeland surprised by his play on Friday?
"I was surprised with my performance but I played hard every down and got the job done."
Replacing Burris was going to be tough and Copeland talked about his thought process of following in his footsteps.
"I feel that DeEdward is a great athelete and was a play maker. I just have to come out hard at practice and do what needs to be done for my team. To put the doubts away with the first game's performance was a motivation for me as well as my teammates."
Having sat behind Burris and finally getting his chance in the spotlight Copeland says he hasn't heard from any colleges thus far. With more performances similar to last Friday's you can expect that to change rather quickly.
The 6'1 200 pound prospect says he camped with Furman this off season and is focused on the task at hand for his Indians team.
"Our goal is to win the region, perform well in the playoffs, and win the state championship."
With a number of playmakers around him like Quinshad Davis and Shaquille Davidson to go along with a stout Indians defense don't be surprised to see them come December.
Copeland says his team comes before self but he told us what his goals are personally for himself for the rest of this season.
"I'd like to throw for over 3,500 yards and rush for at least 1,000 yards. Get a chance to play in an all-star game and play in the state championship."
The 2012 quarterback will face some of the toughest teams in the state this year, a couple of which he's eagerly looking forward to.
"I am looking forward to each game, but most especially, Byrnes, Spartanburg, Dorman and Northwestern because those teams are our top rivals. I'm also looking forward to all of our region games."
Blessed with good size and 4.54 speed Copeland is the first to tell you he's a quarterback who can hurt you in a variety of ways.
"I consider myself a dual-threat quarterback because I have the ability to hurt teams with my arm and my legs. Right now my accuracy and arm strength are probably my biggest strengths I feel."
Copeland says he worked hard this summer on improving his accuracy along with his footwork in the pocket.
Although no schools have contacted him yet he's got a wish list of programs that he'd especially like to hear from this season.
Scout.com will be out to see Copeland and the Indians during this season and we'll keep you up to date with his recruitment as well so stay tuned.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS...JOEY COPELAND
Bench press: 245 pounds
Squat: 380 pounds
Power clean: 235 pounds
Fastest 40: 4.54 seconds
Broad Jump: 8'6"