Covering High School Sports in America
Photo by Gary Jones

Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Whitney

Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick of Whitney (Rocklin, Calif.) has long been an Oakland Raiders fan. He lives for the Silver & Black and hurt when Al Davis died.

But when USC football coach Lane Kiffin stopped by Cope-Fitzpatrick's Rocklin home Sunday for home visit, the tight end made sure he stashed those Raiders colors. Kiffin was once a Raiders fan, then got Al Davis-ed out of the NFL.

Cope-Fitzpatrick, No. 8 on the MaxPreps national Top 25 tight ends list and a MaxPreps Sac-Joaquin Section All-American, said he is "pretty sure" that he's headed to USC on scholarship. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound block gave the Trojans a verbal commitment last summer and he will make a recruiting trip to USC this weekend.

Cope-Fitzpatrick has also had recruiting trips to UCLA, Oregon and Colorado. UCLA coaches will make a home and campus visit this week.

Oregon coach Chip Kelly stopped by his home recently, too (Whitney quarterback Jake Rodrigues is already enrolled at Oregon).

"Every trip I makes it harder because all the schools are great, but USC is still my favorite," Cope-Fitzpatrick said.

And this kicker: "My mom really likes USC. She loves the academic part, but she doesn't know much football-wise."

Joe Davidson has covered prep sports at The Sacramento Bee since 1988. Follow him on Twitter: sb_joedavidson