Provided by Ford Motor Co.
For a former undersized freshman left tackle, Derek Coppedge apparently knows his way around the quarterback position.
"Derek came to us back then and said, 'I will do anything in the world to be a quarterback,'" remembers Coach Greg Poynor. And so he did, spending countless hours in the weight room, film room, on the track and asking so many questions that the coaches had to throw him out to get him to go home. It's all paying off. In a 56-12 win over Tahoka last week, the 6-1, 185-pound Coppedge hit on 29 of 44 passes for 430 yards and six touchdowns. That followed a Week 1 63-33 pasting of Dimmitt when he threw for 342 yards and five scores.
"We give Derek absolutely free reign on the field," says Coach Poynor. "If he sees something that will make a certain play work, he can call it. And he's usually right."
A four-sport athlete-he plays baseball and basketball and throws the discus for the track team, Derek also ranks in the top 10 in his class with a nifty 3.75 GPA. Elected team captain, he's also active in his local church group and a member of the local FCA and FCCLA. Derek participates in the Big Eagle-Little Eagle program, which mentors elementary school youngsters, including reading to classes every Friday.
"Derek is just want you want your quarterback to be," says Coach Poynor. "Last year he played behind an all-sophomore, overwhelmed offensive line. But he stood in and took his shots and just kept getting better. This year the line has a year of experience and he can really do his thing. When he tells a receiver that he'll be open on a certain route, the receiver runs the route, gets open and receives the ball. It's amazing."
DETAILS: Students recognized by Ford, the Texas Ford dealers and the Built Ford Tough Texas Football Media Advisory Board as the Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week have excelled in three categories:
・ Individual performance on the field, including significant game statistics
・ Contribution to the team's success through individual leadership abilities
・ Performance off the field, including academic success and good community citizenship
Texas high school football coaches, athletic directors and fans are invited to nominate players each week. To nominate student-athletes for this award or for additional information on the nomination process, visit www.PlayerOfTheWeek.com.