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Gerald McCoy Q&A
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Sooner D-Lineman Talks Football, Friends, Family and Life
Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy isnít just one of the best defensive linemen in the country, heís considered one of the best leaders in the OU locker room. McCoy has been through a lot in his life and he has grown physically, spiritually and emotionally from his experiences.
Sooner Spectators caught up with McCoy recently to talk about his family, the major changes in his life over the past year and his role as a sophomore captain on the Oklahoma football team. If the OU defense is in flux after the recent loss of linebacker Ryan Reynolds, McCoy is just the man to lead the Sooners through the storm.
Sooner Spectator: First off, one of the most famous covers on Sooner Spectator has to be Gerald McCoy and the Superman pose on the 2005 recruiting issue when you signed with Oklahoma. Whatíd you think?
Gerald McCoy: (sigh) Iím gonna tell you something ó they tease me every day. This is my third year being here and they tease me all the time about that. Oh, here comes Superman. Theyíve been teasing me since the day I got here. The first day I got here, I came in and it was, oh, there goes Superman.
SS: So if you could go back would you do it again?
McCoy: Iíd do it again. Iíd do it again, twice.
SS: Letís talk to about your Dad a little bit. He lost his voice at the Washington game. He couldnít talk the day after the game. Is that a common occurrence with him?
McCoy: Yeah. Heís been losing his voice since I was a kid, even at my Little League football games. Thatís what he does. Heís going to forever to be a yeller, a cheerer. One year, on my Little League team, they gave an award and it was only for one year. It was specifically for him. It was cheerleader of the year and it was my Dad. They invented it just for him. All the cheerleaders were expecting an award and it went to my Dad. We still have the trophy in my living room to this day. Thatís just how he is. Thatís always how heís been and thatís always how heís going to be. It wasnít just him, my Mom was like that too. She was way worse than he was. She would really lose her voice. I was like, ĎMomma! I canít even talk to you after the game because your voice always goes.í
SS: Your dad was talking about how much heís seen you mature the last couple of years. He was talking about since the passing of your mother how heís really seen a change in you and your maturity level. Can you talk about that?
McCoy: I guess you can say Iíve matured. I guess you can say I see how things have changed with how Iím living and how Iím doing things, how Iím taking on the different things that come at me in life. I have to grow up now. Iím about to be 21.
Dang! Iím about to be ó Iím about to be 21 in February, and after that thereís no more kid. No more child, no more of this, no more of that. I have to be a grown man and I have a new function in life. One, I had a baby early so that helped me mature more, but getting to college and having my mother pass ó that made me have to mature in life. She wasnít there to baby me anymore. I just realized life goes by fast and when changes come, youíve got to adapt. So thatís just what I did. My mother passing away was a change in my life and I just adapted.
SS: Now you have a young daughter, right?
McCoy: Yeah, I have a daughter and sheís two-years old.
SS: And whatís here name?
McCoy: Nevaeh. Itís just Heaven spelled backwards.
SS: Is there a blessing in that your Mom got to see and know her grandchild before she passed?
McCoy: Oh yeah. The good thing about it is that my daughter still remembers my mother. Yeah, she still remembers my mother and she still calls her ďNanaĒ when she sees her picture and she still knows who it is. Thatís always good and I donít think sheíll forget because my mother played a big part in my daughterís life when I couldnít be there for her. My mother was there. Thatís just a person my daughter wonít forget and I think it was good my mother got to see and spend a lot of time with her before she passed away.
SS: It seems like youíve had to fight through a lot to get back on the field. Can you talk about going through this experience lately with a bad toe?
McCoy: That dude right over there (McCoy points to defensive tackle coach Jackie Shipp), he always says, thatís just life. Youíre going to be injured, youíre going to be hurt and youíre not going to always feel the best every day. You have to keep on pushing regardless of what happens. Itís not only my coach saying that, but my father says that. Regardless of what happens, what goes on, youíre not going to feel your best every day. Youíve got to keep on pushing and you canít let anything stop you, regardless of what it is. Itís always been like that since Iíve been raised. You donít let anything stand in your way. Youíve got to do what you need to do and I needed to get it done that day and help my team. I wasnít going to let anything stop me regardless of how I was feeling.
(Editor's Note: This is only a portion of the in-depth McCoy interview that appears in the Oct. 30 issue of Sooner Spectator. To Subscribe, go to our on-line sign-up page or call toll free 1-877-841-8877!!!!)