Batten: Douglas Byrd’s Kevin McCoy accepts offer to play football at Navy
Tripp Stone always keeps an eye out for potential football talent at Douglas Byrd High School.
Stone is the son of head coach Russell Stone and the Eagles’ defensive coordinator. It’s become common for him to approach students in the hallways at Byrd to ask them about joining the football program.
That’s exactly how Kevin McCoy was discovered during the 2010-2011 academic year.
“The only sport I’d ever played was little league baseball when I was about 6,” said McCoy, who moved to Fayetteville from Schenectady, N.Y., at age 10. “But I met coach Tripp in the hall one day and he says, ‘You’re tall. You need to come play football.’
“I was scared at first when I came out. But I gave it a try and ended up liking it.”
Just over two years later, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound McCoy has developed into a talent worthy of playing major college football.
McCoy will pursue that opportunity at the U.S. Naval Academy after accepting an offer Monday to play for the Football Bowl Subdivision program.
Navy is currently a major independent, but will join the Big East Conference in 2015. The Middies were the first school to extend an offer to McCoy.
“This is just a great opportunity for me,” McCoy said. “I know I’ll get a good education and I’m guaranteed a career when I graduate from the academy. That really opened up my eyes.”
McCoy played defensive end last season for the Eagles. He made 82 tackles and had 10 quarterback sacks playing opposite All-Cape Fear Valley 3-A Conference pick Chris Jones. It was his first season as a varsity starter after playing on the junior varsity as a sophomore.
“Kevin is one of those kids who has grown a lot since middle school,” Russell Stone said. “He was gangly and unsure of himself as a freshman. But he’s worked hard in the weight room and put himself in this position.”
Tripp Stone said McCoy will play outside linebacker as a senior for the Eagles.
“He’s already made a lot of plays for us, but he should have even more opportunities at outside linebacker,” Tripp Stone said.
McCoy is the fourth Cape Fear region player to make a pledge to an FBS program. Gray’s Creek offensive lineman Pat Roane, Jack Britt receiver Jalen McDaniel and South Columbus athlete Pharoah McKever previously committed to N.C. State.
Navy’s roster already features two Cumberland County graduates: quarterback Greg Bryant and running back Eric Johnson, both from Jack Britt.
Signing a quarterback was a top priority for Duke and East Carolina in this recruiting class. Both schools got their man earlier this week in the state of Florida.
The Blue Devils received a commitment from Parker Boehme of Sandalwood High in Jacksonville, while the Pirates picked up Kurt Benkert of Island Coast High in Cape Coral.
Boehme (6-2, 215) chose the Blue Devils over offers from Auburn, Iowa State and Oregon among others. He accounted for 3,202 total yards and 40 touchdowns as a junior in helping his squad to an 8-2 record.
“What’s going to happen is he’s going to run for his 1,200 yards and he’s going to throw for 3,200 or 3,400 yards, and everybody will try to jump on him late,” Sandalwood coach Adam Geis said. “But he will not bend. He’s going to Duke.”
Benkert (6-3, 208) completed 189 of 367 passes for 2,771 yards and 25 touchdowns last season at Cape Coral High. He transferred to Island Coast in January.
Central Florida, Marshall, South Alabama, South Florida and Western Kentucky also offered Benkert.
“At first, I was looking for a pro-style offense,” Benkert said. “But the more I looked at them (ECU), I realized it would be fun playing in that type of offense and breaking records.”
N.C. State added its 14th and 15th commitments this week from 6-1, 170-pound cornerback Hassan Childs from Osceola High in Kissimmee, Fla., and running back Matt Dayes (5-10, 200) from Cypress Bay High in Weston. … Dayes had offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, South Florida and West Virginia. … Childs received offers from Central Florida, Florida International and Indiana. … Wake Forest landed a pledge from Dayes’ teammate, Alex Montgomery, a 6-1, 180-pound wide receiver.
Staff writer Sammy Batten can be reached at email@example.com or 486-3534.
Article source: http://fayobserver.com/articles/2012/07/04/1188399?sac=fo.sports
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