Sophomore tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick struggled to find his place in 2013
By the numbers: 1 receptions, 4 yards
What went right: Dealing with similar injury concerns as his comrades at his position, Cope-Fitzpatrick was the more healthy of the three scholarship tight ends for most of the year and played in 12 games.
What went wrong: Playing in most of the games just isn’t good enough, especially when the two guys ahead of you in the line up are so clearly limited in terms of fitness.
For the most glaring example of what went wrong for Cope-Fitzpatrick, look to the Notre Dame game. With Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble knocked out of the game with injuries, the Trojans needed the sophomore to make an impact. Unfortunately his contributions were glaringly negative. On USC’s final drive, his false start forced the Trojans into a third and long and he dropped the pass which would have extended the game.
What’s next: With the departure of Xavier Grimble to the NFL, Cope-Fitzpatrick’s role will become essential as one of two returning scholarship tight ends. His potential to become an impact player is still very real and he will have plenty of opportunity in 2014 to make a name for himself in an offense which should favor tight ends.
Final Grade: D
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