Hardworking, resilient and coachable.
These are just a few adjectives that can be used to describe Cody Kopp as a player and as a person.
The 6’1” and 210-pound University Christian linebacker is impressive both on and off the field.
Kopp spent most of his academic and athletic career at the Providence School. However, despite just arriving at UC, Kopp already loves the team, coaches and overall atmosphere at his new school. Few student-athletes could adjust to such a new environment so quickly which speaks volumes about his maturity level.
Kopp’s dad, Jeff plays a large role in being Cody’s motivation to play football. He played in the NFL as a linebacker for the Patriots and the Miami Dolphins back when Dan Marino was their quarterback.
Currently, Jeff Kopp coaches at UC and is heavily involved in Christian ministry. Needless to say, Cody’s faith is a big part of his life.
Cody contributes a considerable amount of his success to his dad’s training. He describes having his dad around as, “having a coach with him 24 hours a day.” This provides him with a huge advantage over other players who don’t have this type of a family dynamic.
Cody started his high school career as wide receiver. However, in his junior year, he began playing linebacker for the first time. Before getting injured, Cody led the team in tackles. His speed and agility strengths were gained from playing wide receiver, giving him an extra advantage when he switched to linebacker.
Blue 57 built an entire company around merging psychology with football recruiting in Florida and Georgia. The company believes in knowing the athletes with the understanding that the why matters. Blue 57 has a profile on Cody Kopp and over 500 D1 prospects throughout Florida and Georgia.
Lucas Thorp, who is a Blue 57 Scout covering Central Florida, evaluated Cody.
“On the field, Cody plays with great eye discipline in man coverage, and has good natural instincts when asked to play in coverage. When the ball is coming his way, he finds a way through traffic to the ball carrier and when he gets there, he has bad intentions for the ball carrier.”
Thorp added, “Cody has great instincts for what the offense is trying to do and that allows him to break on the ball faster than other linebackers. When Cody is asked to set the edge, he plays with high leverage on the blocker, keeping his outside hand free and is always ready to disengage and make a play behind the LOS. When left one on one with a blocker in the open field, has a great ability to avoid the block and make the play for his team.”
Kevin Hemmings, who is a Blue 57 scout for South Florida, also assessed Cody.
“Kopp is an edge defender with a defensive back speed. He is big enough to play in the box and fast enough to play in deep zones. He is good in the open field as a tackler and doesn’t allow blockers to engage him in pursuit. He can run well with slots and backs and play physical with tight ends. Kopp is well suited as an in the box safety or as a hybrid linebacker. We see him as Power 5 player.”
Johanna Van Arkel, a sports psychologist for Blue 57, evaluated Kopp from a psychological perspective.
“He has grown up in a family that lives and breathes football and sports competition. Cody wants to follow in his dad’s footsteps both on and off the field. His older sister runs track at University of Georgia. Cody also runs track during the off season. Being an athlete is ingrained in the Kopp’s genetics. They know the drill.”
“Cody is extremely proud of his father’s football accomplishments and has a great relationship with him. He really values his dad’s opinion, especially when it comes to choosing a college.”
The Kopp’s made several road trips last spring to college camps and 2019 will be another great camp season for them.
Van Arkel continued, “Cody is outgoing, down to earth, intelligent, and football has always been a huge part of his life. Athletics and Christianity are major components of the family make-up. Cody has lived a privileged lifestyle, but has a great work ethic that’s been instilled in him from a very young age.”
“Cody is very team oriented. He will do whatever he can to help the team, even changing his own position from wide receiver to linebacker. He wants to make his teammates better with every snap. Cody will work as hard as he can to improve every day.”
In the offseason while trying to overcome an injury, Cody has been watching and breaking down Hudl film with his longstanding coach, his father. He has put on 25 lbs of weight and is getting stronger each and every day.
Cody graduates in 2020, and it is not surprising that teams are aggressively recruiting him. He has an offer from Jacksonville University and several ACC programs are highly interested in Cody. In addition to football, Kopp is looking for a school that appeals and satisfies his needs academically as well. He wants to go somewhere that offers him the full package.
Cody is always looking for an opportunity to better himself. His work ethic makes him an asset to any college football program. Here is the bottom line, between his speed and football IQ, Cody sets himself up to make plays on or behind the LOS. Once he diagnoses the play, he flies to the ball and gets the job done.
Michael Mannen is a contributor for The Subway Alum and sports writer for the Blue 57 Scouting Network. He follows college football recruiting and the impact of psychology on football in Florida & Georgia.