Better late than never, right?
Tennessee wide receiver and former USC transfer Bru McCoy has officially been granted immediate eligibility for the 2022 season, a Tennessee spokesperson confirmed to Rocky Top Insider on Friday afternoon.
According to the Tennessee spokesperson, McCoy’s NCAA waiver was approved on Friday and he is eligible immediately.
With the news coming down, McCoy is now cleared to play in the season opener against Ball State from an eligibility standpoint, although his usage rate will still be left to be seen. McCoy announced his commitment to Tennessee back in May and was with the Volunteers for the entirety of training camp in Knoxville this August as he continued the process of learning the Tennessee system and scheme.
“Bru has been a pleasant surprise,” Tennessee WR coach Kelsey Pope said about McCoy during training camp this month. “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.”
McCoy, a former five-star athlete recruit, originally began his career at the University of Texas before transferring to USC before his freshman season. Although he did not see the field as a freshman at USC, the 6-foot-3 receiver made some noise in his sophomore season by collecting 236 yards and two touchdowns on 21 catches during the shortened 2020 COVID season.
The Santa Ana, California native did not see the field during his junior season in 2021 after being hit with a suspension following an arrest for domestic assault in July of 2021. One month later, though, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office announced that McCoy would not be facing charges for that arrest.
Tennessee and head coach Josh Heupel began training camp with an optimistic mindset regarding McCoy’s immediate eligibility with the Vols in 2022. However, as the weeks went by, it became clear that the process wasn’t moving nearly as quickly as Tennessee would have liked. Heupel reiterated to the media last Friday that Tennessee was doing all that they could do for McCoy, which prompted a statement from USC on social media claiming to not be holding up the process.
However, with just six days until the season opener against Ball State, McCoy has officially received approval on his NCAA waiver and will be granted immediate eligibility for the 2022 season.
While talking to the media earlier in the week, when the approval had not been released yet, Tennessee offensive coordinator Alex Golesh said that despite waiting for clearance still, the Vols were moving forward with McCoy’s gameday preparations.
“We’re approaching it like we’re going to have him,” Golesh said about McCoy on Tuesday. “We’ve approached it that way since he got here. Then we’ll adjust as we need to, if we don’t. Really good football player. Has fit right in to our culture. Has added to our culture. Hard-working, tough, smart, really dynamic. To be honest with you, in a lot of ways, super, super grateful to be here and have another chance to do this and having a blast with it. We’re approaching it like we’re going to have him, and then we’ll adjust if worst-case scenario happens.”
Tennessee will open the season on Thursday, Sept. 1 against Ball State in Neyland Stadium. The SEC Network will have the broadcast at 7:00 p.m. ET.