McCoy Looking Hard At Ohio State

There's no doubt that linebacker Rico McCoy of St. Johns College HS in Washington, D.C. is one of the top prospects on the East Coast. The Buckeyes are among the teams that have offered him, and he recently told our Gary Housteau that they are very much in the thick of things in his recruitment.

As hectic as things are right now recruiting-wise for Rico McCoy of St. John High School in of the Washington Catholic League in the Washington D.C. area, he's willing to step back and let the process take care of itself while he prepares to play his senior season.

"Things are going great," McCoy said. "I'm just working hard this summer and I'm looking forward to the season."

McCoy is no stranger to the recruiting scene after watching his brother Reggie go through the process just two years ago.

"It was sort of this way with my brother. Not as many people called, but he also went through the recruiting process. He's at Syracuse now," Rico McCoy said. "He's been a great help. He told me a lot of this stuff was going to happen and it happened, so I was prepared for it."

Syracuse is obviously a player in the younger McCoy sweepstakes with his brother being there.

"Yeah, we're close, and it's a plus for Syracuse, but not really," Rico McCoy said.

The Orange are just one of many suitors trying to woo one of the nation's top-rated linebackers from our nation's capital. Ohio State is one of the schools that has made a favorable impression on McCoy.

"Coach (Mark) Snyder and Coach (Luke) Fickell came to visit me after the season and that was pretty impressive," he said. "Quite a few coaches came to see me, but Ohio State was the only one to send the linebacker coach and also the defensive coordinator, so I thought that was pretty cool. They both seem like pretty good guys."

At this particular time, McCoy has 13 scholarship offers from schools in the Big Ten, Big East and ACC. Ohio State and Michigan are the two schools from the Big Ten to offer thus far.

"Having all of these schools to choose from is definitely a dream come true," he said. "I'm just going to look at rosters and depth charts and stuff on the Internet. My dad and I, we both do that and we talk to the coaches about the players on the team. But I'm going to take my five visits for sure, and that's going to help me out a lot."

Although it can change at some point in the future, McCoy intends to visit Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Pittsburgh and Miami.

"It feels great to get the attention from all of those schools, but I can only go to one," he said. "It's awesome to have all of those offers but when it comes down to it, I'm only going to one school. But it's definitely a dream come true to have all of these offers and schools to choose from."

And McCoy doesn't mean to slight Syracuse in any way, but he's been there more than a few times already.

"Syracuse will pretty much always be in the picture," he said. "Right along with Ohio State and Miami."

McCoy couldn't say enough about Ohio State, and he hasn't even met Jim Tressel yet or been on campus.

"Oh man, I already told you that I like both of the coaches that I've met, so that's two-for-two right there. That's excellent. When I meet the head coach, that's going to be great," he said. "But I like the linebacker situation up there. They're going to have five backers playing this year, four of them are going to be juniors, if I'm correct, and a senior. So that means that by the time I get there, all of the starters could possibly be seniors and I'll redshirt in that case.

"And I've heard of one young kid who ought to be pretty good, (Marcus) Freeman? So after my redshirt freshman year, things ought to be looking good. So that's very interesting to me. I like that situation there."

That sounds like a ringing endorsement of the Buckeyes right now.

"I'd say so," McCoy said. "Things are definitely looking good as far as Ohio State is concerned."

Miami, on the other hand, offers a distinct contrast that is also intriguing to McCoy.

"There's not as much (appeal) as Ohio State as far as the positions are concerned, but Miami is Miami. They're two different programs really, I think," he said. "With Ohio State, you've got tradition, and it's big time football up there. And you have big time football down in Miami but it's more recent. The tradition isn't as steep as Ohio State's."

But just as there is with Syracuse, there's also a personal factor working in favor of Ohio State for McCoy.

"I went to school with (ex-Buckeye QB) Cornelius Green's son, Jason Green. I went to elementary school and a year of high school with him," McCoy said. "My dad has spoke to his dad a couple of times and (Green) is real high on Ohio State and he speaks very highly of them. He makes it sound so good that I'm definitely not going to look past them just because of some of the things that he said as far as the facilities and the people that you meet up there. I just can't wait to get up there and take a visit."

For now, the 6-2, 211 McCoy has been working out with a personal trainer this summer in preparation for his senior campaign. He's run a 4.52 second 40-yard dash time and he's maxed out on 325 on the bench press.

"I'm going to play this season, and I'm going to wait this recruiting thing out," said McCoy, who boasts a 2.7 GPA. "The way that I see it, the longer that I wait, I think some of these schools will start weeding themselves out of the process. So I'm going to see what happens if I go that route."

McCoy has made a name for himself at linebacker by playing the position with a lot of enthusiasm.

"I'm very aggressive and I thrive on big hits," he said. "I'm always looking for a knockout hit. Last year I had a couple of knockout hits. I put a couple of guys out, and this year I'm going for one a game. But I'm very energetic, I love to hit, I'm intense, I get my team going and I'm just a hard-nosed football player."

Up until now, McCoy has played on the inside and outside during his two-year varsity career at linebacker on defense but he'll play mostly on the inside this year. He started at running back in his sophomore year as well.

"Last year, I didn't play much running back, but I think I'm going to run the ball again this year," he said. "So I'm going to be a two-way star."

But he admitted his future is on defense.

"I love to hit, that's my thing," McCoy said. "I like to hear people talk about me after the game or at other schools talking about how mean he is or how hard he hits. That's it, I'm a defensive player for sure."

Being involved in the martial arts since the age of five, along with his brother, McCoy has been honing his physical skills for quite some time now.

"We were flexible and a lot stronger than the kids our age, so it's kind of an advantage having been doing martial arts the past couple of years. I'm no longer doing it, but that was my first hobby," McCoy said. "I just want to become a better football player overall, that's it."

Call it an omen if you wish, but McCoy's high school team is clad in Buckeye colors.

"We're scarlet and gray," he said with a chuckle. "I'm high on Ohio State, and they're definitely going to be in it until the end. And if I'm at Ohio State I'm going to give it 110 percent and I will be a big help for the team."

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