January 16, 2007

Coach confirms McCoy to Pitt

New Berlin (N.Y.) Milford Academy LeSean McCoy has been rumored to be committed to the Pitt Panthers for the last few days. However, with the enigmatic tailback, rumors are part of the package. However, head coach Bill Chaplick confirmed that McCoy has given him the word that it's Pitt.

"He told me Monday night that he's going to Pitt," said Chaplick, the longtime head coach at Milford and the man responsible for McCoy's academic turnaround. "He told me he fell in love with it on his visit and he felt great about the coaches, players and direction."

McCoy, who was at one point the No. 1 running back in the country in the 2006 recruiting class, has been a Pitt target since the beginning.

"I know they recruited him early out of high school and they were with him the whole time while he was at Milford," said Chaplick. "They made him feel needed."

The 5-foot-11, 204-pounder was the No. 2 running back at Milford this past season behind five-star Craig Cooper. According to Chaplick, McCoy has matured greatly in the last year.

"He's a man now," said Chaplick. "He's more responsible, he's worked hard and he's taken the steps needed to become more mature. This has been all hard work by LeSean and he deserves credit."

McCoy played his high school ball at Harrisburg (Pa.) Bishop McDevitt under head coach Jeff Weachter. Weachter coached McCoy into the nation's top tailback but a broken ankle early in his senior season and some academic troubles led McCoy to Milford in January of 2006.

In February of 2006, McCoy signed with Miami in what many considered to be a surprise move. He had been to Miami just once before and never on an official visit. McCoy had also been showing interest in Virginia Tech, Southern Cal, Penn State and others before his decision to attend Miami.

McCoy began having second thoughts when rumors about Larry Coker's future became commonplace.

"I know he visited a few schools during the season and it came down to Pitt and Penn State in the end for him," said Chaplick. "I think the running back situation at Pitt was attractive to him, he felt better about the opportunity there and just felt at home. They're getting a very good back. Shady (McCoy's nickname) showed me a lot during the end of our season when we needed him to step in for Craig. He worked hard all year and showed the ability and skill everyone expects of him."

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