USC tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick missed the entire 2014 season while focusing on his academic eligibility. With the 2015 season just months from kicking off, it sounds as though the potential starter is on track to have his academics in good shape for the fall.
Michael Lev of The Orange County Register noted that latest on Cope-Fitzpatrick’s academic situation after getting an update from USC head coach Steve Sarkisian at a coaches caravan event Monday night. Per Lev, Sarkisian says Cope-Fitzgerald still has some work to do, but things are looking optimistic. Cope-Fitzpatrick is not academically eligible at this time, but if he continues to stay on track he should be eligible and available to play this season.
It was early last August when Cope-Fitzpatrick was ruled academically ineligible for the 2014 season for the Trojans. The loss of the projected starter left USC with just two scholarship tight ends for the season. Cope-Fitzpatrick is the only scholarship tight end returning in 2015 following the earlier loss of Bryce Dixon, who left the Trojans amid a student conduct issue. USC’s only other scholarship tight end in 2015 is projected to be Tyler Petite, a Class of 2015 recruit heading to the program this summer.
If Cope-Fitzpatrick is available, it will absolutely help USC at a position of great need as USC works to rebuild depth across the board through recruiting. However, if he is unable to make the grade, it will leave USC in an even bigger hole at tight end in what could be a promising 2015 season.