BROKEN ARROW — Levi Copelin remains committed to Houston, but he is keeping his options open.
Copelin, an Oklahoman All-State defensive back from Broken Arrow, said he will probably end up playing for the Cougars, but that, “I've got some other opportunities that weigh heavy on my conscience right now.”
Houston promoted assistant Tony Levine to head coach after Kevin Sumlin left for Texas A&M, and the coaching staff remains pretty much intact, including Zac Spavital, son of Broken Arrow coach Steve Spavital and the Cougars' cornerbacks coach who recruited Copelin.
“Coach Sumlin was a great guy and a great leader for the Houston Cougars,” Copelin said. “Great teams follow great leadership, and I know Coach Sumlin left but he left a lot behind. I think they'll be just fine without Coach Sumlin; he had a great opportunity and I think he took a good opportunity for him.”
Copelin was recruited as a defensive back, but he was a jack of all trades in 2011 for Broken Arrow, which was the Class 6A runner-up.
He intercepted eight passes, blocked four kicks and scored 12 total touchdowns as a receiver, defender and returner.
The last touchdown of his high school career, a 40-yard reception in the fourth quarter of the state championship game, looked like it might just earn the Tigers the gold ball.
After Copelin's touchdown, caught with under four minutes remaining in the game, Broken Arrow led 22-16. The Tigers' defense held Tulsa Union, but Broken Arrow fumbled on its next possession and Union's Coleby Evans returned it 30 yards for a go-ahead score.
“Once we had that last couple of minutes ticking down on the clock and we were driving down, until that fumble, I was like, ‘Wow, we're about to do this,'” Copelin said. “Of course, we fumbled. I watched it on the big screen and I couldn't believe it.
“(The bus ride home) was awkward and unusual. We hadn't had a silent bus ride back until that game. Even the first time we played Union, we were all, ‘We'll see them again.' It was heartbreaking and it was hard.”
Copelin said he's still proud of all his team accomplished.
“We played for each other and played together,” Copelin said. “We all played with a lot of heart. That's something that couldn't have been said about previous Broken Arrow teams.”