Three-star offensive lineman T.J. McCoy (Groveland, FL) committed to NC State out of high school and joined the team for 2015 spring practice. However, McCoy is now expected to suit up and play for the Florida Gators this season as familial circumstances have forced him to switch programs.
According to the Orlando Sentinel‘s Chris Hays, McCoy’s father is currently in remission from Leukemia, which he has been battling for years. His dad, former Gators All-SEC defensive tackle Tony McCoy, is slowly recovering but “hurting and struggling,” according to T.J. McCoy, who wanted to be much closer with his father during this tough time and will now get that chance.
“I talked to Coach [Dave] Doren and I explained to him what was going on with my father and he was very understanding,” the player told the Sentinel. “He granted me a hardship waiver and now I’m home and I am transferring to UF.”
The younger McCoy explained that NC State giving him a full release allowed him to contact head coach Jim McElwain and offensive line coach Mike Summers, who were happy to bring him into the program after a visit.
“There was a time when I wanted to go to Florida, and I am very excited that I am at Florida now,” T.J. McCoy said. “I know the circumstances aren’t how I’d like … I’m not glad this is the reason, but I’m glad to be close to home and I’m glad to be a Gator.”
McCoy reportedly announced his transfer on Twitter over the weekend but that tweet is no longer visible. His Twitter profile picture was initially him standing with McElwain, while his cover photo is a picture of his family dressed in Gators gear inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The picture with McElwain is gone, as of press time, but the one of his family remains, as does his location, which is now listed as Gainesville, Florida.
Tony McCoy will not only be recovering from his condition in the state, he will also be travelling to Gainesville monthly for “rehab maintenance treatment and checkups” at UF Shands Hospital, according to the Sentinel.
All-in-all, it appears the McCoys are making the best of a bad situation, one which has resulted in a legacy joining the Florida football team.
The Gators, of course, were in desperate need of bodies along the offensive line. Florida added FCS All-American graduate transfer Mason Halter (6-foot-8, 300 pounds) earlier in June. McCoy and Halter will join the seven returning linemen (six healthy) and five other incoming freshman that will make up the Gators’ offensive line group in 2015.