Josh Heupel Talks Eligibility of Bru McCoy While Camp Development Progresses

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    Bru McCoy

    KNOXVILLE, TN – Tennessee WR Bru McCoy at training camp. Photo by Ric Butler/ Rocky Top Insider

    On May 4, former five-star and USC wide receiver Bru McCoy announced that he would be transferring to the University of Tennessee.

    McCoy was a participant in the first Tennessee practice on Aug. 1, but not as an eligible competitor yet. At the time, though, Tennessee and head coach Josh Heupel felt “good” about where that was headed.

    However, 19 days have passed and McCoy still has not received immediate eligibility to play this upcoming season with only 11 days until the opener in Knoxville.

    “I don’t have an answer on that,” Heupel said about McCoy’s eligibility status during his Friday press conference. “There’s some things that are out of my control, Bru’s control, and our administration’s control in this process. Everybody on our side is working as hard as they possibly can to make sure we come to a resolution as quickly as possible and give a kid an opportunity to go play.”

    McCoy originally began his career at Texas in January of 2019. Six months later, though, McCoy would transfer back home to USC— where he was committed for months before signing with Texas.

    Because of that original transfer in 2019, McCoy has already used his one-time free transfer, thus requiring USC to go through certain steps in order for McCoy to become immediately eligible for his first season with the Volunteers in 2022.

    “Our administration has done everything they possibly can,” Heupel said on Friday about the process of getting McCoy’s immediate eligibility. “They’ve been great throughout the entire process from the very beginning. They’re still working as hard as they can to give him the opportunity to play.”

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    With 11 days until Tennessee hosts Ball State in the season opener, Tennessee is hoping to receive that clearance sooner rather than later.

    Despite a full month of Bru McCoy working hard at Tennessee training camp, there will still a game week schedule and process in getting players prepared in specific ways that are set to happen before the first game.

    “Getting him prepared, being able to rep him, all those things, you’d like that before you start your regular game plan week,” Heupel said about McCoy on Friday. “Essentially seven days before kickoff. That’s the best-case scenario where you’re able to work him and incorporate him and plan for what it’s going to look like when we run out of the tunnel.”

    While there are still question marks surrounding the season ahead for McCoy’s eligibility, the transfer wide receiver has been making productive strides in training camp.

    “Bru [McCoy] has been a pleasant surprise,” Tennessee wide receivers coach Kelsey Pope said last week. “He’s been really good. For a guy who hasn’t played in a season, he obviously has had to build stamina back up. But, when you talk about just a physical specimen, some things you can coach and some things you can’t. That guy has a lot of things that you just can’t coach. For him, it’s just honing in on the details and getting it polished up for him really to become a technician. He’s a big athlete. He’s physical, twitchy and he can run. For us, it’s just about being able to get his stamina up, get him back in shape and then polish up the little things with him.”

    Tennessee will continue to wait on the word about Bru McCoy’s eligibility as they gear up for the season opener against Ball State on Sept. 1 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.