McCOY: PAGE 301 TO THE COVER
By mark rogers
June 30, 2009
It's pretty amazing when you think about it. Colt McCoy. A tall, scrawny kid from a town that no one outside a 40 mile radius could find on a map, goes from prospect, to blue chip, to last resort, to the top QB in the country.
And to symbolize his rise to the summit of the high school and college football peak? He's on the cover...no...his face is on the cover of the 50th edition of Dave Campbell's, the most respected and read football magazine in the state.
Colt's former team, the Jim Ned Indians, is written up this year on page 301. Imagine going from being a wide-eyed, knee-knocking kid at a 2A school, deep inside Dave Campbell's behind the college section, NFL section and most of the high school section, to having a close up of your face on the cover.
It's just about every Texas high school football player's dream to be mentioned in Dave Campbell's. Every June when the magazine is distributed across the state, millions of football players rush to a gas station or book store near by and frantically flip through the pages to find their team...using their index finger to read the text, desperately hoping to see their name permanently materialize before their eyes. I'm sorry to say that was one of the saddest moments of my life. It was 1998. My name never appeared.
Even fewer athletes (the REALLY special ones) have their pictures inserted near the team's write up.
Colt doesn't have to flip through any pages this year to look for his name or his picture. All he has to do is look at the magazine sitting closed and untouched on the coffee table or in the rack at the super market.
Colt's story is unique and inspiring, but he didn't come from absolutely nowhere. Granted, he played at a very small school against inferior competition, but he still ranks 4th all time in the state of Texas in career TD passes and 8th all-time in career passing yards.
But, remember, he was the Longhorns' second choice at QB in the fall of 2005. Ryan Perilloux, the #1 ranked prep QB at the time, was committed to Texas. Colt was seen as sort of a PR move. A small-town kid getting a chance in Austin, but he'd never see the field.
Especially not after Vince Young just brought a National Title to Texas and left college as maybe the best college football player in history.
That's how Colt was mainly viewed by the public - not the Longhorns' staff. They knew Colt had the talent to compete at the FBS level and had as good a chance as any other highly rated QB to lead the Texas football team.
Good thing for Longhorn fans, Perilloux ended up at LSU and never saw significant time because of off-field issues. The exact opposite of Colt McCoy, the poster-child for how to behave off the field when you're a public figure.
So when that happened, in stepped true freshman Jevan Snead, the highly touted QB from Stephenville who had originally committed to Florida.
The proven, dual-threat athlete would be the one to step in and take over for Vince Young.
But Colt ignored the speculation and criticism and ultimately forced Snead to transfer. UT fans were "stuck" with Colt McCoy.
I can't tell you how many people I talked to during Colt's senior year in HS and redshirt freshman year at UT that said he didn't have what it took to be the Longhorns QB.
I can't tell you how many people I openly disagreed with (at the risk of being called a "homer").
In August of 2006, just months before Colt would start his first game as a Longhorn, I wrote the following:
"If given the fair and proper chance, McCoy will be a great quarterback. He will bring the Longhorns conference championships and maybe even a national title. He will rewrite the record books and become a beloved figure in Texas lore...
...I will guarantee that McCoy can handle adversity. I've watched him play in big games and seen him perform in pressure situations.
Expect the mistakes, let him grow into a great college quarterback and McCoy will put Tuscola on the national map. He just needs the chance."
Well, he got the chance. And has a chance to leave UT as one of the most decorated and recognized figures in UT history...all he needs is a national title.
Easier said than done.
But you know what else is easier said than done? A tall, scrawny kid on page 301 from a town that no one outside a 40 mile radius could find on a map, going from prospect, to blue chip, to last resort, to the top QB in the country immortalized on the cover of Dave Campbell's.
He's already done the unthinkable and conquered unimaginable heights. His background and story make me believe that he has a few more unattainable accomplishments to achieve.