“What happened at UNC has happened,” Coples said. “Definitely training and preparing for the NFL and preparing to be one of the most elite linemen.”
For some, the constant naysayers would be fuel for the competitive fire. Coples says, though, that he doesn’t pay much attention to what other people think because he’s internally driven to succeed.
“I go out there and I train everyday with a chip on my shoulder,” Coples said. “But at the end of the day, I’m about business. I love the game of football. I’m more setting goals for myself to help the team get to the Super Bowl rather than just proving people wrong.”
One of the intriguing things about Coples is his versatility. While he attended North Carolina, he excelled at both defensive end and tackle, putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. When he reaches the NFL, he could be asked to play all over the defensive line.
“I feel comfortable either way as a defensive end or as a defensive tackle, as far as getting to the quarterback,” Coples said. “But I would definitely be a defensive end, as far as run technique.”
There may be some questions about Coples’ motor, but there are no doubts about his body. He has been compared to Julius Peppers, not only because both attended UNC, but because he has similar size and athletic prowess. There are several defensive ends that Coples said he’s watched, but he was hesitant to compare himself to anyone.
“I don’t necessarily model my game after anybody,” Coples said. “I just take some of the things they do and use it in my repertoire when I’m going against another offensive lineman.”
There’s been speculation that the Dolphins could target Coples with the No. 8 pick. If he is, indeed, selected by Miami, Coples is ready to try to help restore a winning tradition.
“They (would be) getting a passionate guy that’s going to get to the football, that’s going to get to the quarterback,” Coples said. “And just going to be hungry for success and hungry for getting the Miami Dolphins to the Super Bowl and winning it.”
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