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February 4, 2013
West Virginia freshman wide receiver Travares Copeland knew he wanted to get closer to his hometown of Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Once Copeland met with new NC State football coach Dave Doeren, he had a good feeling that he'd be wearing his favorite color of red again.
Copeland made his official visit this past weekend and made the announcement that he was going to transfer to NC State this afternoon on his Twitter account.
Copeland said the seeds of making the move to Raleigh were planted when Doeren made an in-home visit to see Copeland in December. The 5-foot-11, 181-pounder caught 10 passes for 55 yards while playing in five of the first seven games, and earned one start against then No. 4-ranked Kansas State on Oct. 20. However, he left the team Nov. 8 with five games remaining.
Copeland said his 104-year-old grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and he wanted to be closer to home. He hopes the NCAA will grant him a waiver to play next fall, otherwise he'll make his debut in 2014, along with Florida quarterback transfer Jacoby Brissett, who is from West Palm Beach, Fla.
"The coaching staff is great, especially Coach Doeren," said Copeland, 19, who might major in business marketing. "He is a guy that you can really trust and I picked up on his vibe and really connected immediately.
"The first day I talked to him, he was in my living room the next day. That was a big plus and big on my decision. He made feel like it was open arms and a family. I really thought I could trust him and my grandparents liked him a lot."
Copeland came away impressed with the facilities during his visit, which ran from 4 p.m. Friday until Sunday morning. He'll be back home training this spring in Port St. Lucie to get ready for NC State's fall camp in August.
"I really could see myself there for the rest of my years (3 years of eligibility remaining) and playing ball," Copeland said. "The reason I left West Virginia is because I had family problems."
Copeland hopes to be able to attend the Kay Yow Spring Game on April 20, and expects to meet up with Wolfpack prep commits Sean Paul and Dravious Wright of Vero Beach, Fla., for some speed training in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., next weekend.
Getting a chance to play some for the Mountaineers will give Copeland an advantage in adjusting to the ACC.
"I know how the game speed is, which is a big difference from high school," Copeland said. "I learned a lot about technique things and how to run routes. I also learned to block because in high school I played quarterback, and never had to block."
Copeland looks forward to showcasing the skills that made him a Rivals.com three-star prospect and No. 28 overall athlete in the class of 2012 coming out of Treasure Coast High. He picked up offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, USF, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, among others, before picking WVU over Florida International on Feb. 1, 2012.
"I'm a very quick guy and I'm good in open space," said Copeland, who also hopes to be a factor in the return game. "I have great hands and I'm tough. I won't let anyone push me over and go get it.
"I'm happy to be here and want to make everyone happy."
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