Change Suits Ricky McCoy Right Now

On the Saturday of Washington’s Spring Preview, Ricky McCoy was one of the many incoming freshmen that took time to show up at Husky Stadium. He saw the fans, he saw the stadium - all things he’d seen before - but with only a couple months before the 6-foot-3.5, 298-pound McCoy is set to enroll at UW, things started to hit home.

“I hung out with the guys like Benning (Potoa’e and Jusstis (Warren)),” McCoy told Dawgman.com. “They were up there with me too. Me and Jusstis have gotten closer just on the little time we’ve gotten to spend together. We’ve got a little trio deal now, hopefully we’ll get to know all the other guys well too so we can get that much closer as a team and as friends as well.

“It was pretty cool, seeing what kind of atmosphere we’re going to be in, just a little taste anyway. That’s what it’s going to be like for the next four years, how things are going to go. It was pretty good.”

For a kid from Fresno, California, a move to Seattle can be a bit jarring - but McCoy is excited by the prospects. “Just the atmosphere change, seeing all the kids and finally being able to label myself as a college kid,” he said when asked about what he’s looking forward to this summer. “Just being up there at a great university like that.

“It’s kind of bittersweet. It’s coming pretty fast. I try not to think about it too much. I know it’s going to come and it’s going to hit me as I’m heading onto the plane, but it’s all for the better. Working to come back and take care of my parents and things like that just make it all that much better.”

McCoy is set to come up for the Washington LEAP program at the end of June.

With less than a month to go, it’s not surprising that we caught up with McCoy during a gym workout. As he answered the phone, the sound of metal weights hitting metal could be easily heard through the line.

“What’s going on boss?” is the typical reply from the big man, a student-athlete who knows he’s got it good right now and walks around with a smile on his face - even if it’s prefaced by a grimace after a workout.

“My numbers aren’t too impressive; I’ve been working on a lot of stamina stuff,” McCoy said when asked about his lifting marks. “Bench-wise, I’m about 380 (pounds). I haven’t tested squats yet or cleans. I have some trouble with my technique, so we have to get that down first before I can wow anybody with the numbers.”

At 298 pounds, McCoy says he’s exactly where the coaches want him to be when it comes to weight. “They said to stay under 300 before I come up and be in good shape,” he said.

The big question we ask all the incoming freshmen is whether or not they see themselves playing in the fall. Put McCoy in the category of those players that crave the field as soon as possible. “Although redshirting isn’t a bad thing, I don’t really see myself in that situation,” he said. “I think I’m big enough and I’ve got enough talent to come in and compete. Now I’ve just got to get down to work.”

While you would expect Jeff Choate or Pete Kwiatkowski to be the coaches pushing him to get ready as soon as possible, it’s been the conversations between McCoy and Chris Petersen that have had the biggest effect on Ricky.

“I’m looking forward to playing early and making an early impact,” he said. “It’s something me and coach Petersen have been talking about for quite a while.

“Coach Pete is mainly telling me what I need to do to get ready. He knows how much I’ve been telling him how I want to be an early impact player, so he’s giving me the keys to open up that door.”

And Petersen’s advice to McCoy? Simply. “Be in shape,” Ricky said with a chuckle. “He’s been stressing that to me a lot. That’s probably the hardest thing for big guys like myself, to be in that great shape right away. So I’ve got to come in at least halfway there and coach (Tim) Socha and the rest of the staff will get me to where I need to be at.”

Next question: Does McCoy see himself as strictly an interior player, a nose in the mold of Danny Shelton and Elijah Qualls? Or can he move outside a bit? “I have that versatility,” he said. “Right now we’re looking at the three tech (DT), but once I show ‘em what it looks like, I’ll most likely play some of that five (gap) too.”

McCoy is hopeful he can contribute collectively to the defensive line. They have big shoes to fill, but he believes they can get it done. “We got a nice group,” he said. “We’re all pretty large and pretty athletic to go with it, so we’re looking pretty good up front.”




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