Vanderbilt visits a top target

As Kevin McCoy prepared with his team last week, the Armwood Hawks, for their Florida 6A semifinal matchup with Bartram Trail, an unexpected visitor came to see him. Chris Beatty, Vanderbilt's offensive recruiting coordinator, was in the Tampa area and wanted to touch base with the 6-foot-5, 278-pound right tackle, who is one of the Commodores' top remaining targets.

"Coach Beatty, the wide receivers coach, was in town seeing a few players and stopped by our practice to see how I was doing," said Kevin McCoy. "He was just checking in. He said he would come back and see me next week on a home visit."

With Armwood ranked as the top teams in Florida through the season, McCoy really hasn't been able to break away to take in a game in person. He has, however, kept a close watch on what was going on with the Commodores this season.

"I've been able to see a majority of their games on television," McCoy said. "On Saturdays I would have my own little party by myself and watch them play.

"I'm proud of the improvement they've made this season. They had some close losses to some very good teams like Georgia and Arkansas, so I was very excited that they made it to a bowl game."

Vanderbilt is set to take on Cincinnati on December 31st in the Liberty Bowl. McCoy feels like the coaching has made all the difference in getting things turned around for the better with the Commodore program.

"Coach Franklin, I don't know what he's doing up there, but his charisma has Nashville," McCoy stated. "Vanderbilt isn't a school known for football, but the coaching staff has really stepped it up. I think coaching is the main reason for a program's success. Without good coaches in place the players won't do well."

There are other reason for McCoy's interest in Vanderbilt besides the football team and coaching staff. He has aspirations of studying Forensic Medicine and also likes what he's heard about living in the Music City.

"Vanderbilt is a top-notch academic school," said McCoy. "It has a beautiful campus with a very traditional look like FSU. Everything you need is within walking distance.

"I haven't been able to get out and explore Nashville, but it's really cool how the city is so supportive and hyped for the Vanderbilt football team."

Although, McCoy is very high on Vanderbilt, they do have competition for McCoy's signature from an up-and-coming in-state school and an old SEC rival.

"I plan on setting up my official visit when the coaches come for their home visit," McCoy said. "I'll probably take three; Vanderbilt and UCF for sure, and possibly Auburn.

"After I take my officials I'm going to know where I'm going. Vanderbilt is leading right now, but after I come out of my visits I'll know for sure."

Armwood lost in the state finals in 2010 to Tallahassee Lincoln, 17-14. That team was led by Josh Grady, who would later sign with Vanderbilt.

"We made it to the state championship game last year," McCoy said, "but didn't come away with the win, so this is our redemption. I want to get this ring."

McCoy said he's happy to see a "familiar face" when he goes on his official visit to Vanderbilt in January. Top Stories