As decision day for elite Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei star Bru McCoy inches nearer, the Texas Longhorns remain in a tightly-contested two-horse race with the USC Trojans in hopes of securing a signature from the nation’s top-ranked athlete.
Unlike the masses — he’s one of only eight of the nation’s top 50 prospects still unsigned — McCoy elected to extend his recruitment beyond the early signing period, with a decision date set for the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio on Jan. 5. Ahead of that much-anticipated moment, McCoy sat down with Rahshaun Haylock of Fox Sports West to discuss the Longhorns and Trojans, and he did so potentially hinting at the team headlining his recruitment, as McCoy conducted the interview wearing a USC pullover.
In addition to consistently touching on the importance of alumni networking and the opportunities each program presents, McCoy noted a key reason why Texas and USC are still standing today.
“SC, obviously being in LA, surrounded by what it’s surrounded by. You’ve got the people who have gone through SC and went on to start these major companies that we all buy things from now,” McCoy said.
“You’ve got Texas at Austin; one of the most wealthy schools in the nation,’ he added of the Longhorns. “I think if they were an NFL team, they’d be like the sixth-richest NFL team just as a college program.”
.@buhbuhbru is still debating between #HookEm and #FightOn, but peep that pullover @MDFootball | @TexasFootball | @USC_Athletics pic.twitter.com/aN0C5zZU5t— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) December 19, 2018
With only days to go until McCoy’s decision, the industry still widely expects the five-star California native to stay home and side with USC. Just as it has throughout the entire process, McCoy’s Crystal Ball heavily favors USC, with the Trojans owning 84 percent of his 25 picks, as opposed to only 12 percent for the Longhorns.
This near-consensus aligns with a recent report from The Football Brainiacs, which noted, “We’ve been saying it’s unlikely for a while. It sounds like we can finally put this one to bed.”
If McCoy’s well-storied recruitment does come to an end as expected, it won’t be due to a lack of effort on the Longhorns part.
As much of a priority as any prospect on Texas’ board this cycle, McCoy first unofficially visited Texas in late April. Tom Herman and his staff immediately went to work cultivating a relationship with the McCoy family, pitching program stability, the potential to carve out his own path away from home, and the opportunity to be featured on both sides of the ball as a receiver and as a hybrid edge rusher. Of course, the Horns’ pitch hit home; so much so that even beyond earning one of McCoy’s official visits for the USC game — a 37-14 Longhorns win — Texas transformed from an early dark horse to a bona fide finalist, pushing McCoy’s dream school well beyond comfort in a recruitment that became closer than many may have expected.
Shelby McCoy (@therealshelby1), mother of five-star recruit Bru McCoy, says in-home visit with Tom Herman & Texas was 'fantastic' #HookEm. https://t.co/3P4F7SxAmK pic.twitter.com/yMQVrDngku— "EJ Holland" (@EJHolland247) December 13, 2018
At this juncture, the pitches have been made, and so, too, have the visits. All that remains is the decision, and exactly two weeks from today, the nation’s No. 1 athlete and No. 7 player overall will make his known at the U.S. Army All-American game.
Can Tom Herman’s program, which is widely considered to have nothing more than a mere puncher’s chance, prevail and add a new headliner to the nation’s No. 9 class?