Athletic Kevin McCoy Hopes To Visit UI

The Fighting Illini football coaching staff is searching far and wide for quality athletes to join their program. Four coaches are recruiting the state of Florida, a hotbed of talent. Among the players singled out for scholarship offers is Kevin McCoy, a big and quick offensive tackle from perennial power Armwood High School.

Kevin McCoy has the athleticism to be an outstanding college offensive tackle. The humble young man prefers comments received from college coaches when asked his main assets as a lineman.

"Over and over again, I hear from a bunch of schools that I have great feet regarding moving my feet, my agility, stuff like that. I have great hand-eye coordination, and I'm athletic. That's what they tell me. I do get after it, and I do get nasty. But most of their attraction is to my quick feet for my size."

The 6'-5", 275 pounder prefers the right side of the line.

"Two or three schools are talking to me about playing the left side, but most of the schools are recruiting me as a right tackle. I wouldn't mind playing both sides, I'm just most comfortable on the right side. A lot of quarterbacks throw with their right hand, so that side is really important."

McCoy has natural gifts that make him attractive to college recruiters. He must combine athleticism with diligence.

"Definitely, getting stronger is my main focus. Besides that, I want to work on my mental ability to play football. And I definitely need improvement in working hard."

Mike Gillhamer is the Illinois coach responsible for recruiting McCoy. Their relationship has been limited due to NCAA restrictions on contact.

"I talked to him a couple weeks ago. I know they're not allowed to make a number of phone calls, so it's my job to call them. Sometimes I do Facebook them. I tell all recruiting coaches I'm still looking at them."

Illinois is not an unknown quantity to the promising youngster from Armwood High School in Seffner, Florida.

"I do know about Illinois because my brother Demetrius McCray played for Indiana. He graduated two years ago. So I've seen him play Illinois, and I know Illinois has a great program. They are very attractive in the recruiting process."

McCoy is considering the UI, but he needs to visit and meet the coaches and players to compare with teams closer to home.

"I really like UCF. I'm going to their camp, and we'll see how that's gonna go. I really like Vanderbilt, and I like USF. I haven't made a top three, but if I had that probably would be my top three right there.

"I haven't had a chance to go up to Illinois and Indiana, places like that. I know I'm going to Vanderbilt, and they are not too far from there. I do want to make a trip up there if I can so I can get this recruiting thing over and done with. So until then, those will be my three main schools.

"I'm definitely gonna wait until I meet all the coaches for at least most of the schools that I'm interested in going to."

McCoy knows what he wants in a college.

"The great thing I look for in a school is their academics, if they have my major. And I want great chemistry with the coach. I don't want to play for a coach I don't like. So chemistry is big, teammates is big.

I want a college program that runs like Armwood. I've had a great four years here, so I think it would be great to find a program like Armwood's.

"I want to be a forensic scientist. I know UCF has a great program, and Vanderbilt has a great program. I know Illinois is a great academic school, so I'm gonna definitely look into it."

Armwood is a powerhouse in Florida. Listening to McCoy describe it, a college could do worse than to recruit the entire senior class.

"We're definitely going to the state championship game, and this year we plan on winning. Last year, we came up short by a field goal. But that's not gonna happen this year.

"This year, we should be signing all five linemen, and our starting and backup running backs. We should be signing at least 12-14 guys. It's gonna be really crazy because we're such a big team. We're really strong and fast, and that's a big part of Armwood's success year after year.

"We're very attractive. Everyone has a chance to go to college. Period. It's a good thing. I'm excited for the whole senior class this year. It's a big class, and all of us are gonna have an opportunity to go to college.

"Even our JV players, our scout team, they're really big, and they're great athletes also. It's really good. We all work hard to get better, and it works at the end of the day."

Working with and against all that talent daily gives McCoy a leg up on playing early for the college of his choice.

Illini Inquirer Top Stories