When I watched Mizzou’s first football scrimmage on Saturday, #61 Max Copeland caught my eye as he was coming off the field. As the number one offensive line took a seat on the bench, I noticed Copeland with a big smile on his face, giving his linemates high fives. The walk-on from Montana looked like he was having the time of his life. When Copeland went back onto the field for his next series, it was like someone flipped a switch. The happy go lucky guy turned into a raging lunatic.
As the Tigers lined up for a goal line push, Copeland’s voice filled Memorial Stadium as he yelled, “WE’VE GOT TO FIGHT. WE’VE GOT TO KEEP FIGHTING.” I’ve never seen another Missouri offensive lineman being as vocal as Copeland. He wasn’t finished. Just before he got set, he looked across the line and let out another big “ARRRRGGGHHH!” before crashing into Sheldon Richardson.
Copeland is the epitome of a free spirit. He listens to heavy metal before games, studies physics in school where, Head Coach Gary Pinkel says, he carries at least a 3.7 GPA. Pinkel says he hasn’t seen someone quite like him on the field in a long time. Copeland has seen time with the number one unit, after Jefferson City native Travis Ruth injured his arm. While Copeland is having fun, he knows he also has a long way to go.
AUDIO Pinkel on Copeland (2:00)