The Real McCoy
Rico McCoy

Posted Jul 21, 2008


Rico McCoy covers so much ground on a football field that there sometimes seems to be two of him. Perhaps there is.

There was the Rico McCoy who last fall showed a lot of immaturity. The 6-1, 215-pound junior linebacker let his academics slide and, in the process, let down his teammates and coaches. When the Vols showed up in Tampa for their Outback Bowl date with Wisconsin, McCoy was back in Knoxville – ineligible to participate.

Then there is the Rico McCoy who last week was showing a lot of remorse for last season's undisciplined behavior. He emphasized the importance of being diligent and accountable – on the field and in the classroom – so he can regain the trust of his coaches and teammates. He wants to redeem himself and he wants to be a team leader.

Which Rico McCoy will show up when Tennessee visits UCLA Sept. 1 in Pasadena? That remains to be seen, of course, but he seems genuinely repentant after failing last fall to pass the hours necessary to qualify for bowl eligibility.

“That was one of the bad points in my life,” he said, his voice seemingly filled with regret. “It showed me not to take anything for granted – anytime you're on the field or anytime you're in the classroom, as well. That was just a lesson learned.”

As badly as McCoy felt about miss the Outback Bowl game, he realizes things could've been much worse. Ellix Wilson, filling the void in UT's linebacker corps, recorded 6 tackles to help the Vols beat Wisconsin 21-17. Had McCoy's absence caused Tennessee to lose the game, he would've felt downright miserable.

“I was so happy they got the win,” he recalled. “I already felt bad about not being there. If they would've lost, that would've felt like the end of the world because I didn't contribute or help my teammates.”

McCoy's actions in 2007 suggested he needed to grow up a lot. McCoy's words in 2008 suggest he has done just that.

Which is the real McCoy?

Stay tuned.


Related Stories
UT front seven weak?
 -by InsideTennessee.com  Jul 22, 2008
New role for McCoy
 -by InsideTennessee.com  Jul 17, 2008
Vol trio preseason A-A
 -by InsideTennessee.com  Apr 18, 2008

MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Get the 2014 Recruiting Yearbook and a full year of Rocky Top Magazine with an Annual Total Access Pass.
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from InsideTennessee.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
LB Rico McCoy (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > St. Johns College HS > Alumni
Football > Tennessee
[View My HotList]