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Copper tells kids they can attain their dreams

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Terrance Copper knows that he’s one of the lucky few.
Just 0.08 percent of high school seniors who play interscholastic football will eventually be drafted by an NFL team. That’s approximately eight in every 10,000 players who will get the chance.
Copper took an even more difficult path, making an NFL team through free agency. The former star at Washington High School and East Carolina University recently completed his fourth year in the NFL, including his second with the New Orleans Saints.
While Copper’s skills obviously helped him progress from high school to college to the pros, he said that’s only half the battle. To stick on a high school team and then to advance to a college team, doing well in school is vital.
When a player is fortunate enough to land on a college team, Copper said sometimes he has to swallow some pride.
Copper put up some big numbers while with the Pirates. That alone didn’t get him to the pros. He worked hard and took advantage of his opportunities.
Even though Copper is preparing for his fifth season in the NFL, he won’t rest on his laurels.
Coach (Bill) Parcells used to tell me that all the time — you have to find a way to stay in this league. Whatever your niche is, that’s what you have to develop. I don’t like to call myself a receiver; I like to call myself a football player. Whether it be receiving or playing special teams or doing whatever, I’m going to do it.”
Copper, who finished the season with 15 receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns, said there certainly are perks to his job.
Copper’s profession can be a brutal one. He suffered a concussion and an injury to a finger during the season.
Copper suffered the first concussion of his career in the final game of the season, coming against the Chicago Bears. Linebacker Brian Urlacher hit Copper on the back of the head during a bubble screen
Copper said he got to the sideline, sat on the bench and was attended to by trainers.
The Saints’ receiver injured a finger earlier in the year, coming in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers. A doctor told Copper he would need surgery and would miss three games, but Copper opted to wait for the surgery until after the season. For the final nine games, Copper wore a splint to keep the finger straight and protect the tendons.
Copper recently had the surgery and has a screw in the finger to help the ligaments heal.
He’s now working on conditioning and awaiting word on where he’ll play next season.
No matter where he goes, Copper will always remember from where he came. He makes it a point to give back to the community.