On Kopka: Lou Groza Award candidate who returns for his senior season as one of the nation's most outstanding kickers … chosen by The Sporting News as the preseason No. 2 kicker in the nation … ranked the No. 8 kicker in the nation by College Football News … on Lou Groza Award watch lists by The Sporting News, College Football News and Lindy's/Sportsline … joins sophomore punter Brooks Barnard to form the ACC's top kicking and special teams units as selected by Lindy's and College Football News … consistent scoring threat from as far as 50 yards who led the nation in field goals at one point in 1998, and who has ranked nationally each of the last two seasons … career 34 of 49 (.694) on field goal attempts, and 66 of 69 (.956) on extra-point attempts … fourth among Maryland career field goal leaders entering his senior season … fourth among Maryland career leaders in scoring by kickers (168 points), PATs (66) and field goals made (34) … sixth on Terps' career ladder in overall career scoring … has made three field goals in a game four times in three seasons … named the Terps' top special teams performer as a sophomore and junior.
1999: The Terps' second-leading scorer totaled a career-best 80 points as a junior, establishing personal highs for field goals (16), PAT's (32) and touchbacks on kickoffs (35) … Maryland junior class record for points kicking (80) surpassed previous mark of 73 by Jess Atkinson … earned honorable mention All-America honors from Football News … his 16 field goals equaled the second-most in a season by a Terrapin kicker and tied for 19th nationally in per-game average (1.4) … his season long of 46 yards came in the season finale vs. Virginia … on the season, he was 8 of 9 from 29 yards or less, 7 of 8 from 30-39 yards and 1 of 4 from 40-49 yards … 16 of 21 overall for 76.2 percent, eighth best in Terp history … had the first game-winning field goal of his career when he booted a 19-yarder with 3:25 remaining to lift Maryland to a 17-14 road win vs. Wake Forest, an effort which helped propel him to ACC Special Teams Player of the Week honors … had a three-field goal game vs. Virginia and two-field goal games vs. Temple, West Virginia and Duke … 35 of his 61 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks, an impressive percentage of .573.
1998: Led Maryland in scoring while booting 12 of 18 field goals … tied with five others for ninth on Maryland's single season chart with 12 FGs … finished ranked 43rd nationally after leading the country at one point and ranking in the top 10 virtually all season … did not miss an attempt that wasn't blocked, or longer than 45 yards … had 10 field goals in the month of September including five of 45 yards or longer … after missing 46-yarder in season's first attempt, hit 10 straight until 37-yard attempt was blocked vs. Florida State … 46-yarder at Virginia was second-longest of career … pair of 43-yard field goals at West Virginia was first career game with multiple 40-yarders … pair of 43-yarders were third-longest of career … was 4 of 6 between 40 and 49 yards and 8 of 9 inside 40 … only miss inside 40 yards was blocked … 3 for 3 (23, 42, 29) vs. Temple to earn ACC Special Teams Player of the Week honors … 3 for 4 (46wr, 21, 27, 26) in season opener vs. James Madison … came out of spring drills contending with senior Brad Rhodes for the placekicking chores ... hit both of his field goal attempts in an overtime "kick-off" to lead his team to victory in the annual spring game.
1997: Became only the third true freshman to kick for the Terps ... saw his first action in the season's fourth game, vs. Temple, when he took over the kickoff and PAT duties ... was the hero in the Terps' win over Duke, earning ACC Rookie of the Week honors after connecting on all three of his field goal attempts (47, 31, 36 yards) in a 16-10 victory ... hit both of his attempts -- from 39 and 44 yards -- in the season finale vs. Georgia Tech ... shared the team lead in scoring, totaling 30 points ... converted 6 of 10 field goal attempts and 12 of 13 extra-point tries.
High School: Graduated from Hollywood Hills High School in 1997 ... was a first team all-state selection as a senior ... also was a two-time all-county and all-conference honoree ... career-long 56-yard field goal came during his senior season, when he made 8 of 11 field goal attempts and all 14 PAT tries ... earned Student-Athlete of the Week honors from the Sun-Sentinel newspaper and was a member of the National Honor Society ... high school coach was Jack Pierson.
Personal: Brian Matthew Kopka … born Nov. 27, 1978 ... son of Renee Wallack and Sam Kopka ... a brother, Kevin, was a kicker at Notre Dame ... majoring in communications ... Maryland scholar-athlete in 1997, 1998 and 1999 … football team's George Boutselis Award as a junior for letterwinner with highest academic average … 1999 GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-District … member of 1999 ACC Academic Honor Roll.
Year GP-GS XP-A FG-A LG Pts. 1997 8-7 12-13 6-10 47 30 1998 11-11 22-23 12-18 46 58 1999 11-11 32-33 16-21 41 80 Totals 30-29 66-69 34-49 47 168
Kopka Up Close