Coppens chooses to walk-on as kicker for Cowboys

Jon Coppens’ interest in playing football for Craig Bohl goes back three years ago when he was in high school in Minnesota and Bohl was the coach at North Dakota State.

Both Coppens and Bohl are in different places now, but figure to come together in the fall.

Jon Coppens

Jon Coppens

Coppens, a 6-1, 185-pound kicker from Nolan Catholic High in Fort Worth, Texas, committed to Wyoming Tuesday night. Coppens will be a preferred walk-on, but said Wednesday during a phone interview that he will receive a significant academic scholarship from UW as he pursues a degree in petroleum engineering.

“Not only is Wyoming an affordable school, but the majority, if not all of (my schooling), will be paid for academically for me,” Coppens said.

Coppens also said he liked the athletic facilities at UW, and “feels confident they’re going to do special things (in football) in the future.”

As a senior this season, Coppens made 8 of 10 field goals, with a long of 45 yards, and made all 25 of his extra-point attempts. He also handled kickoffs and did some punting.

“I would say I’m equally good in all three areas, and can contribute at the Division I level in all three areas,” Coppens said.

UW must replace senior kicker Stuart Williams, and currently has two walk-on kickers on its roster in senior-to-be Justin Martin and Pierce Royster, who was a true freshman this past season. None of those guys attempted any field goals or extra points in 2014. Martin has attempted only kickoffs while at UW.

According to Coppens’ highlight video from his senior season, he was rated as the top high school kicking prospect in the nation at one point by 247sports.com. He also received a three-star rating out of five by ESPN.com.

Eighteen different schools showed interest in Coppens, but he said: “Wyoming gave me the opportunity first and I am truly thankful for it so that’s where I ended up choosing to go.”

Here is the link to Coppens’ senior year highlight video:

http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1107271/jon-coppens

Here is a brief scouting report from kohlskicking.com and its national rating system about Coppens: “Jonathan has attended previous camps with the most recent being the December 2013 Midwest Showcase Camp. He continues to show solid progress, close to 4.5 level as a kicker, needs to work on driving his kickoffs a little more and improving his hand speed for his punting. Jonathan is very diligent about his craft and shows a strong desire to train, a specialist to keep an eye on in the future.”