Last week, East Carolina’s football program continued its success of landing in-state talent. Havelock cornerback A.J. Coplon became the latest prospect from the Tar Heel State to commit to the Pirates.
“I’m excited, I was just waiting for the right time to commit,” said A.J. Coplon, who was recently selected to play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. “It was kind of a relief and it feels great now that I've made my decision.”
“I don’t think it has set in yet -- it probably will later on. I’m just looking forward to the experience.”
Coplon will bring a lot the Pirates’ defense.
“We nicknamed him “Big Play A.J.” this season for a reason,” said Havelock assistant coach Caleb King. “He has six punt returns for touchdowns, six interceptions (returned two for touchdowns), and he’s blocked two kicks.”
“He will bring huge playmaking ability to East Carolina,” said King. “He can return punts, he can return kicks, and he can play cornerback or safety. He can just cover so much ground and he has great ball skills.”
Coplon likes the coaching staff at East Carolina.
“The coaching staff played a big role in my decision,” said the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Coplon.
“I really like the Coach (Brian) Mitchell. He’s the defensive back’s coach and we have a good relationship. He’s cool and he’s always talking to me about everything.”
“I also really like Coach (Ruffin) McNeill. It feels good to know that I’m going to be playing for him and I can’t wait.”
With his commitment made, Coplon said he is done with recruiting.
“I'm 100 percent committed,” he said.
The Havelock star has a bright future in Greenville.
“He’s going to be a great player,” said King. “The sky is limit for A.J."
Coplon chose the Pirates over scholarship offers from Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina.
Havelock plays Orange on Friday in the fourth round of the state playoffs.