Coach: 2 Columbia players pick colleges

Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 at 12:32 a.m.

Two Columbia High School football players have committed to colleges, according to coach Danny Green.

Running back Andre Copeland, who rushed for 1,685 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior, selected South Florida, and linebacker Yannick Brown, who had 103 tackles and 11 tackles for loss, chose Troy State.

Copeland, The Gainesville Sun's 2003 Class 3A-5A co-offensive player of the year, committed to USF last week.

"As far as I know, it is firm," said Green, who sent defensive end Eric Thomas to the Bulls last year. "He visited Syracuse last weekend and visited Clemson earlier, but from what I know he is still committed to South Florida and will be taking his official visit there this weekend."

Meanwhile, Brown picked Troy State after visits to Bowling Green and Toledo. Troy State signed Tigers' kicker Thomas Olmsted two years ago.

Green added that Rashaun Jones, a 6-2, 200-pound defensive back, and George Timmons, a 6-1, 195-pound defensive back/running back/receiver, will visit USF during the week before heading to Miami for the weekend.

Jones, The Sun's 3A-5A defensive player of the year, said last week that the Hurricanes, North Carolina and North Carolina State are his leaders, while Timmons, The Sun's 3A-5A overall player of the year, said Miami, Florida, LSU, North Carolina and South Florida are all even at this point.

Timmons, a lifelong Hurricanes' fan, visited UF last weekend and said he didn't feel like he was a high priority to the Gators but didn't eliminate them from contention.

Green also said lineman Dimitric Jackson will visit Tennessee Tech this weekend, and receiver Tamar Jernigan will travel to The Citadel.

  • EDWARDS TO DECIDE SOON: Lafayette's 6-0, 165-pound wide receiver Marcus Edwards said he has concluded his visits and will choose between Wake Forest, Southern Mississippi and South Florida.

    "I plan on deciding by later in the week, maybe Friday," Edwards said. "Right now, they're all pretty even."

    Because of injury, Edwards only played in six games last season, but he put up big numbers (22 receptions for 412 yards and eight touchdowns) in the limited time.

  • RUTLEDGE PONDERING: P.K. Yonge's 6-0, 235-pound tailback/outside linebacker Eric Rutledge said he will visit East Carolina this weekend and Florida the weekend of Jan. 31.

    Rutledge, The Sun's Class A-2A co-defensive player of the year, said those schools are pretty even in his mind right now and added a new school has entered the picture.

    "South Carolina called me (Tuesday)," Rutledge said. "I'm very interested in them, too."

    Rutledge said he visited Florida State unofficially, and while he didn't have a bad time, he added, "It may be the right place for someone else, it just wasn't for me."

    He has an offer from ECU, and it is believed the Gators and Gamecocks are close to offering.

  • HAWTHORNE HAPPENINGS: Hawthorne receiver Marcus Baker has an official visit to Florida scheduled this weekend, according to teammate Cornelius Ingram and coach James Haynes. Baker (6-1, 175) finished his senior season with 19 catches for 358 yards, 375 rushing yards and nine total touchdowns.

    Haynes said USF coaches will be visiting Ingram at the school Wednesday. Ingram (6-5, 215), The Sun's Class A-2A overall player of the year, lists Florida and Florida State as his favorites, adding, "It's going to be a really hard decision."s

    John Patton is The Sun's high school sports editor. You can reach him at 374-5074 or pattonj@gvillesun.com.

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