One of the top defensive prospects from the Peach State is Denzel McCoy. McCoy, 6-4 and 272 pounds, is from Duluth (Ga.) Northview High School. Last season as a junior he recorded 72 tackles, nine tackles for a loss and six sacks.
"I think my strengths are reading blocks, controlling the line of scrimmage and my lateral quickness," McCoy said. "I know I need to work on getting off blocks better. Right now I would say I am pretty good at stuffing the run and rushing the passer."
McCoy has a unique situation in that he is coached on the defensive line by his father, Gary McCoy. It's a role his father cherishes.
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"Coaching my son is a great experience and you can't really explain," McCoy said. "It's a real blessing. I get to spend more time with him but at the same time I have to be harder on him. I have to say that he has responded well. One thing about Denzel is that he's a very inquisitive player. He does the right things when you are looking and not looking and he really wants to help team succeed. Denzel's a good student, good kid, and a good role model."
At this time Denzel McCoy is sitting on 28 scholarship offers including ones from Tennessee, Cal, Notre Dame, FSU, LSU, Georgia Tech, and Auburn.
"I definitely didn't think things would happen this quickly for me. The first offer was from Penn State and that was actually last summer (verbal) and they it came in September. It was pretty cool and felt great. I never thought it would be like this for me, especially this early."
While McCoy has already seen the campuses at Georgia, Clemson, Kentucky, NC State, North Carolina and Duke, he recently went to a junior day at Florida State and was at Georgia Tech this past Friday.
"FSU was fun and I had a great time. I look forward to going back down there. There were around 100 kids there and they found a way to make the visit personal. I got to know the coaches a little bit and spoke with all of them.
"I went down to Georgia Tech wanting to get more insight on things. They answered everything in regards to athletics and academics. That program is going in right direction and Paul Johnson really knows what he's doing."
So with close to 30 scholarship offers and having seen a handful of campuses, where do things stand with McCoy?
"I am completely open and want to look some more before I narrow things down. I want to get out west and go see schools like Stanford, Cal, and Oregon. I know I have a pretty good jump on things but I need to see more. I should have a busy spring and summer."