December 15, 2006
Valdosta pipeline pays off with McCoy
USF has landed the first offensive tackle prospect of its 2007 recruiting class in the form of 6-foot-6, 265-pound Valdosta (Ga.) High standout Lawrence McCoy.
According to first-year Valdosta Head Coach Rick Tomberlin, McCoy favored the Bulls from the start of his recruitment and chose them over interest from Florida State, Purdue, UAB, Eastern Kentucky and others.
"FSU was coming in on him real hard, but Lawrence just hit it off with Coach (Greg) Frey. It's a big advantage when the guy who's recruiting you is also your position coach. And we have a couple guys down there already (TE Cedric Hill and DB Carlton Williams) who are doing very well. They come home and they've been great ambassadors for the University of South Florida," Tomberlin said. "It was just a situation where Lawrence knew he wanted to go to South Florida and wasn't super interested in anyone else, even though he had a lot of people after him."
McCoy has started at left tackle for the Wildcats since midway through his junior season. As a senior, he led the team in every grade for offensive linemen, including pancake blocks, and was recently selected to play in the Georgia all-star game.
"That means he's one of the top 35 players in south Georgia. And that means a lot. He played every down for us in the toughest league in Georgia, against maybe the toughest high school schedule ever," Tomberlin added.
According to Valdosta Daily Times sports editor Christian Malone, the Bulls have found themselves a potential star.
"He is still a little raw. He's a late bloomer who is still learning the position, but he has been very coachable, has a great attitude and a very good upside. Just my opinion, he could wind up being a sleeper that slipped under the radar of other teams," Malone said. "Valdosta players have traditionally been fundamentally sound kids who love football and play the game hard."
Tomberlin compares McCoy's potential favorably to two of his former prep players who now make a living in the NFL - Takeo Spikes (Buffalo Bills) and Randall Godfrey (San Diego Chargers).
"Lawrence has that kind of talent. If you came into our weight room and saw him, you'd think he was a rush end. They want him to play defensive line in the all-star game, so that tells you what kind of athlete he is," Tomberlin said. "He's a super-lean 265 with long arms - a long wingspan - who's going to get on a meal plan and one day be a 290-pounder who can really run."
McCoy has a core grade point average of 3.0 and should have no trouble qualifying.
"I think he will go (to USF) and do well academically. He might end up making the Big East all-academic team at some point. He has that kind of work ethic. If you measure character on a scale of one to 10, he's an 11," Tomberlin said. "He's overcome some obstacles in his life, but he always has a smile on his face. Everybody loves Lawrence. We couldn't be more proud for him."
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