Vols In Hunt for LeSean McCoy

If you're looking to sign an impact running back (and who isn't?), you could do a lot worst than LeSean McCoy, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound, five-star prospect from Harrisburg, Pa., who is ranked No. 2 nationally at his position by Scout.com.

McCoy tops Tennessee's list of potential signees in the Class of 2006 with Gerald Riggs entering his senior season and no experienced back currently ready to fill the void. With the days of summer numbered and visits being set for the upcoming season, Inside Tennessee contacted McCoy on Tuesday to determine his level of interest in UT.

The news is good.

"You're from Tennessee?" he asked seemingly grateful for the phone call. "I think in the next couple of weeks I'm going there. I was supposed to get a date but I never got in contact. I would call but nobody ever picked up."

We're pleased to report that this information has been passed along and the lines of communication have been untangled. Now, assuming his schedule allows, McCoy would like to take an unofficial visit to Knoxville before the start of his season and return for an official visit during the upcoming campaign.

This is a significant development because McCoy has essentially skipped the camp and combine circuit over the summer, meaning no program has taken a lead.

"I haven't been to any camps or combines," he said. "I've been working out on my own and with my team. Recruiting has been a little bit hectic, not too bad, not too bad." Much like he does with his eye-popping success, McCoy seems to take all the attention he's getting in stride. As a junior, he rushed for 2,828 yards and 33 touchdowns to earn Class-AAAA player of the year honors. He was named first team all-state as a sophomore after rushing for 2,561 yards and 28 touchdowns, giving him a two-year total of 5,389 yards and 61 TDs.

He is without doubt one of the best open-field running threats to come out of the high school ranks in recent years. Blessed with blazing 4.4 speed, outstanding vision, terrific balance and remarkable moves, McCoy is a big-play waiting to happen.

"I have a way of making people miss," he said. "It's that wiggle I guess. But if my team needs a yard I don't mind sticking it up in there. That's the way I am; I do what I have to. I like to force the action. I run in the low 4.4's or high 4.3's. I don't run track, but I should."

Do you like going over the top?

"No, I've never had to," he responded with a disarming candor. "I'm not much of a jumper." LeSean McCoy has spent much of the off season working to improve his strength since there's little he could do to better his speed. He is currently bench pressing 325 pounds and has a history of durability.

"I work out a lot with weights," he said. "I've never had any major injuries. I had a little problem with an ankle, but nothing serious."

He is serious about his senior season and has a couple of ambitious goals he would like to achieve with the Crusaders this fall.

"I want a state championship," he said. "We got a district championship last year and finished 11-2, but I want to win the state championship. I also want to get the state rushing record. James Munro of the Colts is the one who has it now."

McCoy's current list of favorites is very fluid, but he hopes to solidify it after taking the time to fully consider his options. Among his unofficial list of contenders are Miami, Oklahoma, Penn State, USC, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Tennessee.

"I want to list all my schools but I've just been real busy and haven't made visits," he said. "Tennessee is definitely one I want to see early. They've got two pretty good quarterbacks. I've only see them on T.V., but I really like the team. I think their style of offense fits me well. I like being an I-formation back. I have good vision and that offense gives you a chance to see the holes open."

Coach Jimmy Ray Stephens is recruiting McCoy for the Vols and will get plenty of support from running backs coach Trooper Taylor.

"I think Coach Taylor is one I've talked to on the phone," he said. "I'll definitely want to get up there for a game and see how it rocks. I'm definitely going to do that. My plan is to get up there early. I'm very interested in Tennessee.

It's fair to say the interest is mutual.

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