Florida Gators to add freshman legacy OL T.J. McCoy on hardship waiver

By Adam Silverstein
June 22, 2015

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.


  1. Aligator says:

    Sorry to hear about the circumstance and i hope tony gets much better soon. At the very least it looks like we have enough guys to start working with for the future.

  2. SW FL Joe says:

    “Three-star”. By now I think this is just a given.
    Welcome aboard TJ and God bless you Tony.

    • GDave says:

      SW FL Joe…so how many ‘stars’ did you have coming out of high school? GO GATORS!

    • Mike The Red says:

      Half of the NFL draft was 3-star recruits.

      • ken (CA) says:

        really? Can you back up that stat? And if you can, can take it a step further and show how many 3 stars vs. how many 4-5 stars are starters? I bet you can’t on either Mike. NFL is the best of the best. There are some 3 stars that get there, but they are far from a majority, or even half.

        Not saying we shouldn’t take a 3 star player, we have lots of holes to fill, especially on the line, but comparing it to NFL caliber player is just silly. Maybe can develop to that and glad to have another body on the line, but that is a stretch.

        As tough as cancer is, Leukemia is curable in most circumstances nowadays as well, so this really isn’t a hardship change as much as just deciding not wanting to be at NCSU (did undergrad at UF, grad at NCSU, so I know both schools well).

        I would bet that this kid knows will get a lot of PT as thin as our lines are, and used this as an opportunity to change his mind. This is not a knock against him, just him being intelligent about his options.

        He could potentially develop into an NFL prospect, but as a 3 star, he isn’t expected to be, hard work, dedication in the weight room, learning the system, he could certainly get there, but as far as Gators go, it is more thank goodness we have another solid body to fill in a deficient line.

        • Gator in Atlanta says:

          Actually, mate, 16 of the 32 players selected in this year’s first rough of the draft were rated as three star prospects coming out of high school. And another was a 2-star. I think the point is that rating service’s evaluations of talent are not very accurate predictors for success, whether at the college level or pros. Of course, the more talent you have, the better. However, we cannot overlook a player’s potential by looking solely at his “stars.”

  3. Waldo Road says:

    Hope Tony gets better and glad we have his son here. He will be taken care of. No disrespect to NC State.

  4. Sroode21 says:

    Hey SW FL Joe… Let it go with all the negativity and quit looking at a ranking system! Last time I checked you aren’t on the staff for recutting players. Let it go armchair AD or Head Coach. Let the coaches due what there paid for. Go Gators !!!!

  5. Mike The Red says:

    Welcome on board TJ. Glad to have you. Wishing the best for Tony.

  6. G2 says:

    Good bloodlines, we need him.
    Impressed with how coaches are hitting the transfer market!