Tuesday, November 1, 2011
ESPNHS Alumnus of the Week: LeSean McCoy
By Brian Stumpf
LeSean McCoy clocked a blazing 4.25 40 back at the 2004 Penn State Nike Camp.
LeSean McCoy shredded the Dallas Cowboys' No. 1 ranked run defense Sunday night, rushing 30 times for a career-high 185 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles won their second straight and are starting to round into the team many thought they could be in the preseason. McCoy, a third-year back of out Pitt, is a big reason, as he's the only NFL player to score a touchdown in every game this year and is now the NFL's second-leading rusher (754 yards) and touchdown-scorer (10). Today we take a look back at McCoy when he was in high school with an ESPNHS Alumnus of the Week feature.
LeSean McCoy was one of the most heralded running backs in Pennsylvania state history by the time his career at Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.) concluded in the fall of 2005. "Shady" burst upon the scene as a sophomore at McDevitt in 2003, as he led the state in rushing in just 10 games with 2,561 yards and had 28 TDs and was the only sophomore on the first team all-state Class AAAA squad. He was named ESPNHS Sophomore All-American as well, joining other RBs on the squad such as Chris Wells, Toby Gerhart, Stafon Johnson and Evan Royster.
McCoy then turned more heads in the spring of 2004 while attending the Penn State Nike Camp; he turned in the fastest 40 time in the event's history* at 4.25 seconds, while also clocking a 4.10 shuttle and jumping 30.3 inches in the vertical. After his sophomore year on the field and the big Nike Camp, recruiting started in earnest and schools such at Pitt, Miami, Penn State, Maryland, NC State, West Virginia and others had already offered before the start of his junior season.
As a junior in the fall of 2004, McCoy ran for 2,828 yards, scored 33 touchdowns, and earned ESPNHS Junior All-American, AP Class AAAA player of the year and Offensive MVP of the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Conference, helping McDevitt to a 10-3 mark. McCoy returned to the Penn State Nike Camp in the spring of 2005 to compete, and while he stood on his 4.25 40 from the year before, he did bench 18 reps of 185 and post a 30.3-inch vertical jump and also stood out in drills and one-on-ones at a camp with perhaps one of the most loaded running back groups ever looking back -- including Ray Rice and four other current active NFL backs (Arizona Cardinal LaRod Stephens-Howling, Miami Dolphin Steve Slaton and Houston Texan Ben Tate.)
McCoy entered his senior season in the fall of 2005 on pace to break the state career rushing mark, but suffered a compound fracture on his right ankle in the fourth game and missed the rest of the year. In just three-plus games that year, rushed for 859 yards and 10 touchdowns on 83 carries and he finished his high school career as Pennsylvania's ninth all-time leading rusher with 6,640 yards and scored 75 TDs.
Following his injury, McCoy, still uncommitted but holding offers from major programs nationwide, visited USC, Virginia Tech and Penn State officially and then shocked many when he committed to Miami on National Signing Day in 2006. However, still recovering from his injury and needing to do some work academically, McCoy did not sign with Miami that February and headed instead to Milford Academy in New York, where after a year of post-grad work he eventually signed with and enrolled at Pittsburgh in the winter of 2007.
McCoy was highly-regarded in recruiting circles despite the major injury as a senior, finishing as Scout.com's No. 5 RB recruit and No. 22 player overall nationally, Rivals.com's No. 7 RB and No. 43 player overall and ESPN.com's No. 8 RB and No. 50 player overall.
* The 40 times at the Nike Football Training Camps were measured with stopwatches prior to 2006. They are now laser timed.