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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Football

The Cub Report: A look at UH football signee QB Maddox Kopp


UH football quarterback Clayton Tune dives and extends towards the end zone for the touchdown as a BYU defender closes in. Maddox Kopp will join Tune in the UH quarterback room. | Courtesy of UH athletics

UH football quarterback Clayton Tune dives and extends towards the end zone for the touchdown as a BYU defender closes in. Maddox Kopp will join Tune in the UH quarterback room. | Courtesy of UH athletics

Former NFL Coach of the Year Bud Grant once said that “a good football coach needs a patient wife, a loyal dog and a great quarterback, but not necessarily in that order.”

If that’s the case, any coach that St. Thomas High School product Maddox Kopp plays for will be able to check at least one of those things off their list.

Fortunately for the Houston football team, Kopp’s coaches, for at least the next three years, will be the ones calling plays for the Cougars.

The 6-foot-5-inch pro-style quarterback signed his letter of intent to wear red on Saturdays in September of last year after a down-to-the-wire arms race between UH and Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss program.

Kopp also received offers from Colorado, Tulane and Wyoming.

The 47th-ranked quarterback in the class of 2021 first began skyrocketing up recruiting lists after an impressive junior season at St. Thomas, which saw him throw for over 3,000 yards along with 28 touchdowns.

A victory in a throwing competition versus NFL prospect Justin Fields only added to the excitement around the Houston native, who can also hold his own on the hardwood.

With Clayton Tune as the established starter for the Cougars heading into the 2021 campaign, Kopp will have the opportunity to sit and learn, a great position for any young signal-caller to find themselves in as a freshman.

Kopp showed a tremendous amount of skill on tape during his time at St. Thomas, and with a small amount of fine-tuning, will eventually be handed the keys to the offense himself.

This is The Cub Report on Maddox Kopp:

Pocket presence & awareness

Kopp handles himself in the pocket with the coolness of a quarterback who is never worried about getting hit.

To be fair, the offensive line at St. Thomas looked incredibly solid in the video from both of Kopp’s final two seasons in high school.

When the pocket did begin to collapse, Kopp did a good job at stepping up and continuing his read progressions. He rarely seems to panic.

Kopp knows where he wants to go with the ball, but if the defense takes it away from him, he doesn’t make terrible decisions.

With an extremely quick release, Kopp usually trusts himself to go to the first receiver he feels has the separation necessary for a completion.

Size and athleticism

In a sport where quarterbacks seem to be getting smaller, Kopp’s body is traditional in every sense of the word. At 6-foot-5-inch, he has a larger frame that is built to take a beating and will only get bigger as time goes on.

Weighing in at 210 pounds, Kopp is able to maintain quick feet and scramble when needed. He understands the different angles that defenders approach him at and does a good job at positioning himself to best be protected.

Kopp is no running quarterback, but he doesn’t have bricks for feet either. He settles into the area between a tuck-it-and-run QB and pocket passer, which is likely to save him from a lot of wear and tear many larger quarterbacks who are run happy often experience.

Arm strength and ability

Kopp has a good arm that teams can rely on to make tough throws. His ability to throw downfield and outside the numbers is something high school defenses simply could not defend against him.

Teams often fell into cover three and even cover four defenses against St. Thomas early in games, simply due to the threat of Kopp’s deep ball.

Kopp’s arm is strong enough to maintain velocity when he is throwing on the run, and his ball placement and touch are impressive for a player who has “gunslinger” tendencies.

Room for improvement

Kopp was not the most accurate passer during his senior season, completing around 59 percent of his throws, but rarely turned the ball over, throwing just four interceptions over the course of the year.

Kopp will also have to master the short game across the middle of the field a bit more. The UH football team has not had much depth at the tight end position in recent years, but it’s an element of the game I am positive the coaching staff would like to add going forward.

Overall

Kopp is right where you want your quarterback to be coming out of high school. He wasn’t ranked too high or too low. Expectations will be tempered, which is always a good thing for players taking the next step.

Kopp has the foundation to build a solid set of skills upon, and he won’t be stunted by the lack of any important physical attribute.

With at least one year to learn the offense, Kopp should be in top mental and physical shape when it’s time for him to take the reins.

To check out more of The Cub Report, click here

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