McCoy Torn Between Bucks, Vols

Washington D.C. linebacker Rico McCoy will decide between Ohio State and Tennessee at next weekend's Army All-American Game. Bucknuts caught up with McCoy for the latest on his situation.

Washington D.C. linebacker Rico McCoy was visited by Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel earlier this week.

"The visit went well," McCoy said. "It went real well. Coach Tressel came up to the school and I introduced him to the faculty. Later on that evening, he came to the house and spoke with myself and my parents. He spoke about the problems with ESPN and how they are trying to make them look bad. I had a lot of questions and he answered all of them. The visit went well."

Tressel doesn't usually spend much time talking about football on his visits.

"We got to talk a little bit about football," McCoy said. "(OSU linebackers coach Luke) Fickell did most of the talking about football since that will be my position coach, if I go there."

McCoy was asked what makes Ohio State attractive for an out-of-state recruit.

"The great tradition that they have there," he said. "They won a national championship not too long ago. They are known for putting players in the league – the NFL. It's a great atmosphere."

McCoy watched OSU's 33-7 Alamo Bowl victory over Oklahoma State.

"Yes sir, that was great," he said. "I thought the linebackers played great. Coach Fickell is doing a great job up there coaching the linebackers and it would be nice to play for him up there."

The 6-2, 215-pound McCoy had 118 tackles and seven sacks as a senior for St. John's College High School. He recorded 120 tackles and five sacks as a junior. He played middle linebacker in the prep ranks, but knows he will have to move to the outside in college.

"I love to hit and everything, don't get me wrong, but I'm an outside linebacker naturally," McCoy said. "I played inside linebacker here for my high school team, but I'm projected as an outside linebacker."

McCoy will decide between Ohio State and Tennessee. He was asked what stands out about the Volunteers.

"Similar to Ohio State in a lot of ways," he said. "Both have high fan support, huge stadiums, great tradition. It's going to come down to me making that gut decision, because they are a lot alike in a lot of ways."

McCoy will announce his decision at the Army All-American game in San Antonio next weekend.

"I'm very excited about that," he said. "I've heard great things about it. I'm looking forward to going down there to play the game. It's supposed to be a lot of fun, so I can't wait for that. And it will take a lot of stress off me making my decision during the game."

McCoy can bench 320 pounds and squat 585. He runs the 40 in 4.55 seconds, and has a 34-inch vertical.

He even played some running back in high school, finishing with a total of 14 rushing touchdowns the last two seasons.

But McCoy will not miss running the ball.

"It was nice scoring, but my love is hitting people and playing linebacker," he said.

McCoy was asked for his strengths and weaknesses as a linebacker.

"I read plays pretty well," he said. "I can determine where the ball is going to go.

"Weaknesses? I worked on my weakness a lot coming into this previous season, which was settling down a little, not being overaggressive. So, I spent time working harder and studying film and stuff like that."

McCoy made his official visit to Ohio State in early December.

"It was a big campus," he said. "There's lot of love for Ohio State. I saw that. Campus was beautiful."

Ohio State has one of the best linebacking corps in the nation with A.J. Hawk, Anthony Schlegel and Bobby Carpenter. However, all of them will graduate following the 2005 season.

How much will that play into McCoy's decision?

"A lot. A lot," he said. "It's a great situation to come into. I'm going to be able to watch those guys for a year, who are probably going to go the NFL. So, I'll be able to learn a lot from those guys within that year. And then the following season, I'll be able compete for a starting job. There is no better situation than that."

McCoy says Ohio State and Tennessee are even at this point.

"To be honest, I was leaning towards Tennessee because I had questions about the off the field stuff," McCoy said. "But, Coach Tressel and Coach Fickell assured me that everything is straight. So, that got them right back in it. Now my decision is tough again. It's 50/50 and I have no idea right now. I like both schools a lot."

For the entire McCoy interview, tune in to the Bucknuts Radio Hour next week.

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