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[yahoo sports] The real McCoy

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by wizkid83, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. wizkid83

    wizkid83 Contributing Member

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    Just posting this for the following tidbit.

    Though he’s a Texan at heart, McCoy was actually born about six miles from the state’s border, in Lovington, N.M. Under the hospital crib of his first son, Colt’s father placed a shoebox filled with dirt.

    “Just so we could say he was born over Texas soil,” Brad McCoy said.




    http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=jn-mccoy101708&prov=yhoo&type=lgns


    The real McCoy
    By Jason King, Yahoo! Sports
    Oct 16, 10:18 pm EDT

    Buzz Up Print
    Texas and Colt McCoy are 6-0.
    (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

    McCoy’s year-by-year stats
    Career Passing Rushing
    Yr. Rec. G Pct Yds TD Int Rush Yds TD
    ‘05 0 Did not play
    ‘06 (10-3) 13 68.2 2570 29 7 68 170 2
    ‘07 (10-3) 13 65.1 3303 22 18 114 492 4
    ‘08 (6-0) 6 79.4 1557 17 3 59 348 4
    Career 32 69.0 7430 68 28 241 1010 10

    More Texas coverage: OrangeBloods.com TUSCOLA, Texas – Last weekend, moments after Texas’ 45-35 victory over Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout, Kay Whitton sent herself an e-mail reminder.

    “Find picture of Colt,” it read.

    Whitton is a teacher at Jim Ned High School – the alma mater of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. In 2003, before the Indians played for the Class AA state title, she snapped a photo of McCoy in the Heisman pose.

    “I may give it to him the next time I see him,” Whitton said with a chuckle. “He was just joking around back then. It was actually out of character for him. He would never take a picture like that now.”

    No, not now.

    Not as McCoy prepares for a rigorous second half of the season which begins with Saturday’s game against No. 11 Missouri. Not as McCoy tries to keep the Longhorns focused in the wake of their new No. 1 national ranking. And certainly not as the buzz about McCoy’s Heisman chances begins to strengthen following last week’s victory over previously unbeaten and top-ranked Oklahoma.

    “I look at individual awards as team awards,” McCoy has said countless times. “Without my teammates, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything.”

    Back in McCoy’s hometown, folks can’t help but smile at those comments.

    Tuscola, Texas, boasts just 714 residents, and nearly every darn one of them has a story about the town’s 22-year-old ambassador. Most don’t involve football.

    Teachers dote about the straight A’s McCoy received on every report card. Elderly couples remember how he used to wave to passing cars while he mowed lawns. Moms recall his presence at church every Sunday while dads tell their sons about how he praised God during each postgame interview.

    Maybe that’s why plans are under way for a Colt McCoy Day here in Tuscola – or TuscolTa, as the sign in Whitton’s classroom reads.

    “We’re still trying to figure out how and when we’re going to do it,” said Vince Devalle, the vice principal and assistant football coach at Jim Ned. “But there needs to be some sort of public acknowledgement. The kid is an absolute stud.

    “He put this city on the map.”



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    When Colt McCoy was a sophomore, a young fan approached him after a game at Coahoma High School and asked him for his autograph. McCoy seemed surprised as he turned and looked at Devalle, who was standing nearby.

    “What do I do?” McCoy asked him.

    “Sign it,” Devalle said. “It’ll probably be the first of many.”

    Even back then, it wasn’t hard to tell that McCoy was something special.

    Though he’s a Texan at heart, McCoy was actually born about six miles from the state’s border, in Lovington, N.M. Under the hospital crib of his first son, Colt’s father placed a shoebox filled with dirt.

    “Just so we could say he was born over Texas soil,” Brad McCoy said.


    Tuscola, Texas at Yahoo! Maps.
    It wasn’t long before the family relocated to Texas, where his father hop-skotched from one coaching job to another in a region where powerhouse football programs are strewn across the state like Christmas lights.

    San Saba and Kermit came first. Then it was Jim Ned High School in Tuscola. His coaching colleagues never understood why but, time and time again, Brad McCoy would turn down coaching jobs in big cities such as Dallas and Houston to remain in one-traffic light communities such as Tuscola, where you could drive a golf ball from one end of town to the other.

    “I’ve caught some criticism for it,” Brad McCoy said, “but it’s a choice I’m comfortable with. I enjoy the slow pace. I like knowing everyone and who my kids are hanging out with. It’s a lifestyle that suits our family just fine.”

    Still, as many advantages as the environment may provide, it’s not exactly conducive to becoming a big-time football player.

    College recruiters can show up in a big city and meet with 10-15 prospects a day – sometimes at the same school. Pursuing a small-school player, though, is a daylong task. There are usually no major airports in the cities, which means driving three or four hours in a rental car to visit a player who might not even be a prospect.

    It’s not as if there aren’t numerous success stories. At Texas alone, McCoy’s top two receiving targets are from small schools. Jordan Shipley attended Class AAA Burnet while Quan Cosby went to Mart, a Class A school. Offensive lineman Leonard Davis, from Class A Wortham, was an All-Big 12 lineman for the Longhorns and now starts for the Dallas Cowboys.

    Quarterbacks, though, are a different story.

    Because of a lack of numbers, almost anyone who tries out for a small-school team is guaranteed a roster spot. That forces college coaches to look at quarterback prospects with a skeptical eye. They’re difficult to judge because they’re often achieving success against slow, unathletic defenses.

    Stephen McGee (Burnet/Texas A&M) and Shawn Bell (Class AAA China Spring/Baylor) have started for Big 12 teams in recent years. But it’s almost unheard of for a small-school QB to have his team in contention for the national championship – or to be a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy.

    “Some people may have looked at it as a tough situation,” said Brad McCoy, now the coach at Class AAA Graham. “But I thought my kids could still make it as long as I coached them well.”

    While coaching at Jim Ned, Brad made sure Colt became comfortable in various offensive looks. Sometimes the Indians were in the I-formation, other times they ran the spread or the zone read.


    Texas coach Mack Brown spent an entire day at Tuscola, Texas attending school with McCoy and signing autographs for students.
    (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)
    Jim Ned went 34-2 with Colt as a starter. By the time his career ended, he’d thrown for 116 touchdowns and a Class AA state-record 9,344 yards.

    During the summers, Colt would attend camps with some of the top quarterback prospects from the bigger schools in Texas. He hardly looked out of place alongside players such as Chase Daniel (who signed with Missouri), Graham Harrell (Texas Tech) and Rhett Bomar (Oklahoma/Sam Houston State).

    As hard as he was working on the field, McCoy remained just as focused off it. He’d stay up past his bedtime to study game film and drink protein shakes. Heck, before high school ever began, he swore off carbonated drinks.

    “We were at On The Border by Six Flags in Arlington,” Brad McCoy said. “He drank a Dr Pepper and then said, ‘That’s the last one of those I’m ever going to drink. I’ll be a better athlete if I don’t drink that stuff anymore.’

    “That was nine years ago and he hasn’t had a (soda) since. He still drinks tea, but other than that it’s all milk and Gatorade.”

    Even at a school with just 300 students, McCoy became impossible to ignore. Texas Tech’s Mike Leach and Houston’s Art Briles showed up in Tuscola to visit with McCoy. Notre Dame sent recruiters, too. In the end it came down to LSU – because of McCoy’s admiration for offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher – and Texas.

    “He was mesmerized by Mack Brown,” Brad McCoy said. “He came back from his visit there and said, ‘Dad, if they offer, I don’t see how I could go anywhere else.’ ”

    A few weeks after he signed, Brown came to Tuscola and spent the entire day attending school with McCoy and signing autographs for his classmates. The Longhorns went on to win a national championship during McCoy’s redshirt season in 2005. McCoy was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2006 before struggling as a sophomore.

    This season, he’s thrown 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions while completing 80 percent of his passes.

    “Sometimes it’s a reality check to think, ‘Man, that’s my older brother out there, ‘ ” said Colt’s youngest brother, Case, a prep junior who has already received an offer from Auburn. “At the Cotton Bowl the other day, I was sitting there thinking, ‘Five years ago, we were in our front yard and he was teaching me how to roll out.’

    “I’m so proud of him because I know how hard he prepared for this moment. He did so many things that no one from the outside or no one reading the newspaper would understand.”

    Colt’s father said he gets overwhelmed at times, too.

    “It’s given a lot of people hope,” Brad said. “Everywhere I go, coaches and kids from small schools say, ‘It gives us hope that it can be done.’ He’s been able to touch so many people – and not just with his play on the football field.”



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Not long ago, Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis called Colt McCoy’s father about a problem.

    More than any player in Longhorns history, Colt was being asked to speak to various high-school students and youth groups, and at Fellowship of Christian Athlete gatherings. Oftentimes, Texas’ football offices received as many as 10 requests a day – and Colt did his best to oblige.

    “It’s becoming too much,” Davis told Brad McCoy. “I need you to help me convince him to slow things down a little bit.”

    Instead of ducking its path, McCoy has always relished the spotlight that comes with being a recognizable athlete. He loves using his pedestal to share his faith and influence fans, teammates and whoever else is interested in hearing him speak.


    McCoy has a 79.4 completion percentage through six games.
    (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
    In high school, he was a mainstay in the pews at Oldham Lane Church of Christ, and after games – whether the television cameras and tape recorders were rolling or not – he always made sure to thank the Lord. Never did it seem rehearsed or flippant.

    “You hear athletes say that kind of stuff all the time,” said Whitton, the Ned High teacher. “But anyone that’s ever been around Colt knows that he means it. It’s genuine.

    “His story … he’s almost surreal in a way, and part of that is because he comes from a small town. There was no anonymity for Colt here. Probably 80 percent of the people in those stands had some connection to Colt and his family.”

    And those people loved them.

    Teachers said McCoy was shocked when starstruck girls began leaving love notes in his locker. Autograph requests became common, and more than 10,000 fans from Tuscola and its surrounding towns showed up to watch McCoy and the Indians play in the Class AA state title game at Abilene Christian University in 2003.

    Yet the following Monday he was just a normal kid at school, as approachable as the lady at the lunch counter.

    Just ask Tyler Fain, a soft-spoken junior who showed up at Jim Ned High School this week sporting McCoy’s No. 12 Longhorns jersey.

    “I met him when he was a senior and I was in eighth grade,” Fain said. “He didn’t act like he was too cool or too good for anyone. He treated me just as nice as he did all of his high-school friends.”

    Mitchell Hicks, a linebacker on Jim Ned’s football team, remembers “piling into a car with his family every Friday night” to go watch McCoy play in small towns throughout North Central Texas. Jim Ned is in a district that spans 400 miles.

    “It didn’t matter,” Hicks said. “We were going to be there. This place was like a ghost town whenever there was a road game. (McCoy) was never cocky. He was always humble. He never took any credit and he was proud of where he came from.”

    Just as it was in high school, McCoy’s image couldn’t be any stronger in Austin, where he rooms with Shipley, the receiver who has become one of his top targets. Rare are the weeks when Shipley and McCoy miss a service at Westover Hills Church of Christ.

    Two years ago, Brad McCoy received a call from one of the church’s members. It was the morning after Texas’ loss to Kansas State in Manhattan. McCoy had sustained a pinched nerve in his neck during the loss, an injury that left him wincing in pain.

    “This man called, and he was crying,” Brad McCoy said. “He told me, ‘Coach McCoy, I’ve got to tell you, I’ve never seen anything like your son. I was sitting in church this morning when Colt walked in. He was a little late, but he was there, all beat up.

    ‘I know he couldn’t have gotten home from Kansas before 3 or 4 a.m., but he was there for that 9 a.m. service. My little boy saw that. I just want you to know that that was the biggest impression anyone will ever make on my 10-year-old. ‘ ”

    Brad McCoy paused.

    “You hear things like that about your son … you can’t help but be proud.”



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Back in Tuscola, McCoy’s fans are gearing up for Saturday’s game against Missouri. A victory will nudge Texas one step closer to the BCS title game – and enhance McCoy’s Heisman chances. A loss, well … no one wants to think about that.

    Whitton plans to watch the action from home, where she now records all of McCoy’s games on DVD. She learned her lesson after a lightning storm wiped out her entire DVR library a few weeks ago.

    “I had every game of his that had ever been televised on there,” she said. “Now they’re gone.”

    After missing the Oklahoma game, Devalle said he and some friends are making the three-plus-hour drive to watch McCoy play in person.

    “Man’s trip,” he said.

    As for McCoy? Texas officials have had to limit his media availability because of the overwhelming demand for interviews. The increasing celebrity sometimes makes for a hectic lifestyle for McCoy, never one to hide his face. Not that he’s complaining.

    “When he has a free afternoon, he gets out of Austin,” Brad McCoy said. “He has friends that have ranches here and there. He likes to hunt and fish, but he just loves being away, where there’s quiet and solitude. Being able to think and listen to the birds. His pace of life is so fast right now. It’s a reprieve to him to be able to get away, clear his head and reflect.”

    Still, even when he’s not out in the country, McCoy occasionally has those moments. One of them occurred last Friday, when McCoy sent a “good luck” text to Devalle a few hours before Jim Ned took on a familiar opponent.

    “I know you’re in Coahoma,” the text read. “That’s where I signed my first autograph. Came a long way since then. Tell the guys good luck. – Colt”

    Devalle closed his phone and leaned back in his chair.

    “Stud,” he said. “Stud.”
     
  2. superden

    superden Contributing Member

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    I love Colt man...
     
  3. LonghornFan

    LonghornFan Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the share. Great read!
     
  4. percicles

    percicles Contributing Member

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    Colt McCoy is a great american!!!
     
  5. Landlord Landry

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    I thought this was about that early 90's softcore porn movie with Kim Basinger

    Colt is awesome.
     
  6. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    UT has had the coolest names play there:

    Colt McCoy

    Major Applewhite

    Quentin Jammer

    are you kidding me?? you're a DB and your last name is Jammer?
     
  7. rockbox

    rockbox Contributing Member

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    I love Colt, but I wished the article didn't go so heavy on the church stuff.

    How does coming to church regularly make you a great human being? I guess it beats going to a bar or a strip club.
     

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