Late in his junior year at St. Thomas High School in Houston, Maddox Kopp began building a relationship with some coaches at Colorado.
While the CU staff has changed quite a bit since then, Kopp’s good impression of the Buffaloes’ program has not. So, when he made the decision in November to transfer from Houston he immediately turned his eyes to Boulder.
Last month, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound quarterback made the decision to transfer to CU. On Wednesday, he began the drive to Boulder.
“It was kind of easy to rekindle that relationship,” Kopp said. “A little under a year ago, we were kind of talking every day, Zoom and all that stuff, going through that whole recruiting process. It wasn’t hard to kind of pick up where we left off.”
Rated as a three-star prospect in the 2021 class, Kopp chose his hometown Houston Cougars over CU and others when he graduated from St. Thomas a year ago. He spent the spring and most of the 2021 season with the Cougars but put his name in the NCAA transfer portal in early November. He did not appear in any games with Houston and will have four years to play with the Buffs.
“It was tough,” he said of transferring. “It wasn’t easy to just kind of pick up and decide to look elsewhere, but I think it was the best thing for me and for my career, and I feel like I can really, really achieve my goals and a bunch of stuff. So it was tough, but it was the right move.
“I just wanted to have an opportunity to really develop. I wanted to go somewhere where I felt like I can maximize my potential and kind of become the quarterback and the person that I really am striving to be.”
Born and raised in Houston, Kopp said he’s also looking forward to something new.
“I love Houston,” he said. “It’s a great city. It’s so big, so many different parts of Houston and so many things going on. It’ll be a new experience to go (to a city where) everything is kind of tied through that college. It’ll be really cool.”
From a football perspective, Kopp will join what has become a crowded quarterback room.
Rising sophomore Brendon Lewis is the returning starter for the Buffs, although he had some struggles throughout the season. Junior JT Shrout, who transferred from Tennessee a year ago but missed the 2021 season with a knee injury, is expected to be healthy and compete for the starting job.
Redshirt freshman Drew Carter and incoming freshmen Owen McCown and Oakie Salave’a will also hope to compete for the top spot.
Kopp is eager to join the competition.
“Honestly, that’s the one thing I’m kind of most excited about is getting up there and getting with the team and just starting the spring workouts, winter workouts,” he said. “You can’t go in and expect to be clicking with everybody. You’ve just got to go and work hard and kind of see how it all turns out. I’m really excited to get to work with those guys.”
In November, Kopp took an official visit to CU and watched the Buffs beat Washington at Folsom Field. Since then, offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini – the first CU coach to build a relationship with Kopp – has been fired and replaced by Mike Sanford.
There have also been reports that quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf, who also recruited Kopp out of high school, is leaving CU to become the offensive coordinator at Temple, although that has not been made official.
Regardless of who is on staff, Kopp said he’s excited to play for Dorrell and the Buffs.
“When I went up there, coach Dorrell laid out what he wanted the offense to look like,” Kopp said. “He felt that my skill set really can match that offense, which is being able to do a lot of different things and throw the ball downfield, which I love to do. … The offense was something tailored toward the pro-style and (run-pass option), which I thought was really cool, just because at the next level, you’re going to have to do that pro-style, under center, the play-action. They want to run the ball downhill and throw the ball downfield.”
At St. Thomas, Kopp threw for more than 6,000 yards and 59 touchdowns in his career. As a senior, he threw for 3,134 yards and 30 touchdowns with only four interceptions, while rushing for 292 yards and a touchdown. In 2019, he threw for 3,089 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Now, Kopp is looking forward to the chance to compete for the job with the Buffs.
“Just (having the) opportunity to come in and compete, that’s what really stood out to me,” he said. “I just wanted the chance to compete and build a culture and a program and help in any way I can.”