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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pro/Con: Will McCoy’s successful spring translate into fall playing time?

    Bobby McCoy (NO CQ!!) anchored Arizonas 4x100 meter relay. Arizona finished fifth with a time of 41 seconds, at the Jim Click Shootout, Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Chris Coduto / Arizona Daily Wildcat)
    Bobby McCoy (NO CQ!!) anchored Arizona’s 4×100 meter relay. Arizona finished fifth with a time of 41 seconds, at the Jim Click Shootout, Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Chris Coduto / Arizona Daily Wildcat)

    McCoy talented, but too green to start yet

    For a team that’s always thirsting for wide receiver help, even with the emergence of freshman Mike Thomas last season, the play of redshirt freshman Bobby McCoy during the Wildcats’ second spring scrimmage April 8 – four receptions, 82 yards – had to come as a welcome surprise.

    Or was it? After all, Arizona head coach Mike Stoops has said repeatedly this spring that the 6-foot-1, 180-pound McCoy, also a track and field athlete, brings a mix of size, speed and athleticism lacking in the position’s top two returning players, Thomas (listed at 5-foot-8) and junior Syndric Steptoe (5-foot-9).

    But my guess is that Arizona will prefer proven ability over potential while compiling the depth chart this fall, and for that reason alone, McCoy will fall short in his bid to be a starter.

    That isn’t to say he won’t contribute. The Pacific 10 Conference prides itself on putting on the field some of the best athletes in the nation (Reggie Bush, anyone?), and McCoy should easily find a niche if the Wildcats decide to try him out on special teams. He and the shifty Steptoe could confuse many a coverage unit on kick and punt returns.

    Regular action, however, isn’t so likely. Sophomore Anthony Johnson, a probable starter, put up near identical numbers to Steptoe’s while playing in all 11 games in 2005. At 6-foot-2, he will join freshmen DelaShaun Dean (6-foot-4), Terrell Reese (6-foot-4) and Terrell Turner (6-foot-2) as the team’s tallest wideouts this fall.

    McCoy will have two advantages over the latter three in the battle for playing time.

    First, he has a bit of college experience. Sure, it came in limited action last year, in wins over Oregon State and UCLA, but his one career catch for five yards is more than Dean, Reese and Turner can presently attest to.

    Second, and most important, this is McCoy’s second spring with the team. He’s had two seasons of exposure to wide receivers coach Charlie Williams and Arizona’s offensive schemes. He’s had myriad opportunity to ham it up with veterans and get their input on his game.

    Of course, being a sprinter for the Wildcat track team may present a problem. While the double duty has no doubt honed McCoy’s ability to eat up hash marks in a hurry, performing in another sport brings added risk of injury. Pulling or tearing a hamstring, common in even warm-up runs, would derail any chance he has to contribute meaningfully in 2006.

    But all that is mere speculation at this point. Given how busy he’s kept, McCoy should be commended for accomplishing what he has so far this spring. Stoops will find a way to get this dynamo lined up in some capacity this season.

    Tom Knauer

    Bigger, stronger McCoy deserves more time to stand out on the field

    Breakout player of the spring? That’s easy. No one has impressed as much as Bobby McCoy. But will it mean more playing time in the fall?

    In the words of Mike Stoops, in February of 2005: “”If he continues to improve, then he’ll be a major factor in what we do with our receivers.””

    Last spring, McCoy undoubtedly improved, but for the redshirt freshman – who oh-by-the-way happens to own the school record in the 60-meter dash (6.8 seconds) as a member of Fred Harvey’s track and field team – his speed that works as an asset has also deterred from his ability on the football field over the past two years, as his running cut down on his weight.

    This spring, McCoy has done nothing but improve, both in the weight room and on the field.

    He’s focused on football, and the results have shown. His strength is now not only limited to his legs, and McCoy now has the look and feel of a football player.

    Yes, he has junior Syndric Steptoe, freshman Mike Thomas and sophomores Anthony Johnson and B.J. Dennard as competition, but since when is competition a bad thing?

    McCoy’s speed and height (the speedster is 6-foot-1) could provide a different, taller threat than the likes of Steptoe, Thomas and Dennard can, as none of the three stand above 6 feet tall.

    Yes, he only has one catch for five yards in his career as a Wildcat, and yes, the Wildcats will welcome three new wideouts in the fall in freshmen Terrell Reese, Terrell Turner and DelaShaun Dean, but what quarterback wouldn’t want a 6-foot-1 receiver who also happens to hold the school record in the 60m to lob the ball to down the sideline?

    “”Hey Bobby,”” I can hear freshman quarterback Willie Tuitama say as he releases the ball next season, angling toward the corner of the endzone. “”Go get it.””

    If nothing else, McCoy’s two years of experience on the team, even in practice situations, should prove to be a vital asset for offensive coordinator Mike Canales.

    After spring practice, McCoy will return to Roy P. Drachman Stadium as a member of the track team, but come fall of 2006, he’ll be one of Stoops’ main Troops.

    Ryan Casey

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