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McCoy makes up for lost time

Colfax grad pays the price for offseason incident, returns to lead the Wolf Pack
By: Ray Hacke Journal Sports Writer
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Mike McCoy isn’t the first college kid to have an alcohol-related run-in with the law. Unlike most of his fellow University of Nevada students, however, McCoy is a football player — in fact, he’s one of the Wolf Pack’s starting wide receivers. That means the Colfax High graduate has a high profile — both on campus and in the Reno community. McCoy knows this. That’s why, when asked about being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in the early hours of May 24, he didn’t try to duck the question. “I made a mistake,” McCoy said. “But it’s how you come back that shows your character, and I think I’ve come back pretty good.” McCoy was one of three Wolf Pack players who were arrested in separate DUI incidents over Memorial Day weekend. While the other two were dismissed from the team, McCoy was placed on team probation for his senior season and had his scholarship aid reduced, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal’s Web site. “The other guys had problems before,” McCoy said. “I’d never been in any previous trouble.” “He’s a solid, good kid,” Nevada wide receivers coach Scott Baumgartner said. “Unfortunately, he made one bad decision. He knows he let down his family and people in his community, but he’s come back well.” The 6-foot, 190-pound McCoy, who destroyed receiving records in bunches at Colfax High, is among Nevada’s leading pass catchers through five games this season. He’s second on the team in catches (21) — the most he’s had in a season with the Wolf Pack is 32 — and third in receiving yards (152). McCoy has helped the Wolf Pack go 3-2 entering Saturday’s home game against New Mexico State, with both losses coming against Big 12 teams that are currently ranked among the country’s top 10 — No. 3 Missouri and No. 7 Texas Tech. McCoy is also a big reason that Nevada’s offense is currently ranked seventh in the country, according to Baumgartner. “He’s probably our best route runner,” Baumgartner said. “He’s a smart kid, and he finds ways to get open. He’s got real good quickness.” What McCoy has yet to do this season is score a touchdown. He had four in 2007. “I don’t get a lot of deep balls thrown to me,” McCoy said. “I don’t have 4.4 speed (in the 40-yard dash) — I have about 4.5 speed, so I don’t get past a lot of corners. I usually run inside the linebackers and run a lot of routes underneath. “I’ll get (to the end zone) eventually.” “As long as we’re winning games, I must be doing something right,” he added. “I don’t necessarily need the ball in my hands for us to win games.” McCoy has no plans to play football after college. “I’ve been playing for 12 straight years,” he said. “The only way I’d go (to the NFL) is if I got drafted, and that’s probably not going to happen. It’s time to move on to the next chapter.” A speech communications major with a minor in geography, McCoy has not yet chosen a career path. “There are lots of options out there for me,” he said. “I’m not really set on what I’m going to do. “I’ll figure it out. I’m still in college mode.” “He’s been great to coach,” Baumgartner said. “He’s a good kid — I appreciate everything he’s done. I hope he finishes real strong in his senior year.”