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October 3, 2013

Travares Copeland relished return to field



Leaving West Virginia was not too difficult for NCSU sophomore receiver Travares Copeland.

"Family is important, and that was the main reason," Copeland noted.

There was one aspect to his transfer though that Copeland admittedly had some hesitancy. During Copeland's true freshman season for the Mountaineers, he had earned a starting job en route to catching 10 passes for 55 yards as a rookie.

"I didn't want to start all over," Copeland acknowledged. "I earned a starting job over there, and I had to start all over, but family is the most important thing so it wasn't that bad."

Copeland was drawn to what he called the "open arms" of NC State.

"I also love red and white," Copeland said while flashing a smile.

The 5-foot-11, 187-pounder enrolled in the summer and was cleared by the NCAA to play right away for NC State. The difficult task for Copeland was learning NCSU's new offense.

"The only thing that was hard for me coming in was the playbook," he noted. "Now I am getting the hang of it with repetitions."

Everything, for the most part, was a smooth transition for Copeland. That was until he injured his hamstring, costing him most of the preseason camp and the first three games of the year. It was a unique experience for Copeland, who had not had such an injury since he was a senior in high school.

He said that watching practice was difficult. Game day was "even worse."

"I just wanted to be out there so bad," Copeland stated. "I just wanted to help my team and make a positive contribution."

Copeland's opportunity finally came last Saturday against Central Michigan. He said that he was not nervous before the game, confident that the treatment he received had him ready to play.

He ended up playing 27 snaps last Saturday and caught a 10-yard pass for his first Wolfpack reception.

"I was excited," Copeland recalled. "I was just ready to help the team. It just feels good to be back on the field.

"The game, I wasn't really tired. In practice, I get a little tired because we grind all day, but the game, even with all the running, I wasn't tired at all, so it felt good."

Copeland is hoping that the 10-yard pass was the start of a long and productive career with NC State.

"It's absolutely great here," he said. "Everybody here has welcomed me with open arms, and Coach [Dave] Doeren is a great guy.

"I'm happy to be on this team."


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