Matt Kopa

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Matt Kopa
No. 78
Offensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1987-02-25) February 25, 1987 (age 27)
Place of birth: Sacramento, California
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) Weight: 310 lb (141 kg)
Career information
High school: Elk Grove (CA)
College: Stanford
Undrafted in 2010
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Stats at NFL.com

Matthew Alexander "Matt" Kopa (born February 25, 1987) is a free agent [American football]] offensive tackle of the National Football League. He played college football for Stanford where he changed positions from defensive to offensive lineman in 2007.[1] Kopa was signed in 2010 by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent.[2] On November 9, 2010, Kopa was signed by the Miami Dolphins off of the 49ers practice squad. He later played for the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Early years[edit]

Kopa earned many accolades as both an offensive and defensive lineman while attending Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove, California. Kopa burst on to the national spotlight during his Junior year following his outstanding performance at the Palo Alto Nike Camp.[3] In 2004, Kopa was ranked as the #82 player in the nation, and the #7 defensive end in the country according to Rivals.com.[4] He played in the CaliFlorida Bowl at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida on January 2, 2005, along with fellow California stars Mark Sanchez, DeSean Jackson, and Rey Maualuga. In the postseason he was ranked #17 in California according to Rivals.com.[5]

College career[edit]

Kopa committed very early in the recruiting process to Stanford, and maintained his allegiance to the Cardinal following the firing of Head Coach Buddy Teevens. He began his career playing on the defensive line for Head Coach Walt Harris. After redshirting his Freshman year, he won the battle for the starting defensive end position in 2006, but suffered a hyperextended elbow during the final week of Training Camp that marginalized his performance until the last month of the season. In 2007, Jim Harbaugh became the new Head Coach at Stanford, and asked Kopa to move over to the offensive line.[6] As a Junior, Kopa played both as a reserve offensive tackle and tight end. Kopa eventually played in 35 career games with the Cardinal. He had seven starts including starting the final six games of the 2008 season, five at right tackle and one at left guard.[7] Kopa was projected to have a breakout season in 2009 and be one of the top offensive tackles taken in the 2010 NFL Draft.[8] Unfortunately, he injured his foot while playing in the 2009 season opener against Washington State and missed the rest of the season after undergoing surgery. Kopa petitioned the NCAA to play a 6th year, but was denied.[9] Kopa graduated in 2010 from Stanford University with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Professional career[edit]

Kopa attended the NFL Scouting Combine in 2010, but was still rehabbing from foot surgery and did not participate in the on-field drills. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent following the 2010 NFL Draft on June 8, 2010.[10] Kopa was released during final cuts, but was signed to the 49ers' practice squad on September 6, 2010, where he practiced for the first eight games of the season. He was signed by the Miami Dolphins as a free agent off the 49ers' practice squad on November 9, 2010.

On September 3, 2011, Kopa was cut by the Miami Dolphins as part of the final roster cutdowns. On September 5, Kopa was signed to the New England Patriots practice squad.[11] On December 3, 2012, Kopa was signed to the Philadelphia Eagles' active roster off the Patriots' practice squad.[12] [13] Kopa was later released by Eagles when they made their final roster cuts on August 30, 2013. In February of 2014, Kopa moved to the bay area and tried to legally change his name to Matthew Koparnick in an attempt to ride the popularity of 49ers greatest quarterback Colin Kaepernick. However, he was denied due to lack of bicep during his Koparnicking audition.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stanford University Football. "Player Bio: Matt Kopa". Stanford University Athletics. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  2. ^ Fucillo, David. "49ers sign rookie free agent OT Matt Kopa". Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  3. ^ Kimbrell, Rick. "Palo Alto NIKE camp Showstoppers". 
  4. ^ "The next 10: The Rivals100 from 81 to 90". Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "2005 Prospect Ranking". Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Eubanks, Mike. "Kopa Tackles New Position". 
  7. ^ Jones, Rick. "Stanford's Kopa on the move again". 
  8. ^ Brandt, Gil. "Top offensive tackle prospects for 2010 hail from the Big 12". 
  9. ^ Hull, John. "Kopa Moves On Without Hearing From NCAA". 
  10. ^ Carroll, Chuck. "49ers Sign Offensive Tackle Matt Kopa from Stanford". Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Patriots set their practice squad, bringing back a few familiar faces". Boston Herald. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Eagles steal Matt Kopa from Patriots practice squad". Boston Herald. 
  13. ^ Philadelphia Eagles. "Player Bio: Matt Kopa". Retrieved 25 July 2013. 

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