Justice McCoy displaying increased maturity in 2018
Justice McCoy was a three-year starter for St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, LA. The 6-foot-1, dual-threat quarterback recorded 5,826 passing yards and 38 touchdowns on 809 attempts over those three seasons and also rushed 282 times for 976 yards and 20 touchdowns. Simply put-McCoy was the man for St. Augustine and during those three seasons, there was not a whole lot of offensive production that he did not account for.
After signing as part of Colorado State's 2017 recruiting class, McCoy had to do something he had not done in quite some time though. McCoy had to stand on the sideline and watch other people gets reps with the first team while he waited patiently for his opportunity.
Once Nick Stevens graduated and Collin Hill tore his ACL for a second time in his career last spring, McCoy's opportunity arrived. No longer was McCoy running the scout team, he was now running with the 1's and battling with walk-on QB Judd Erickson and senior J.C. Robles for the attention of the coaching staff.
That experience last spring was valuable for McCoy on multiple levels. It did wonders for his confidence after not getting to take very many meaningful snaps in practice throughout his freshman season. Secondly, it made the young quarterback realize how far he still had to come if he was ever going to legitimately compete for the starting position.
"I found that I really did not have a full grasp of the playbook, but now at this point I feel like I could just go out there and play," McCoy said. "Hearing coach Bobo tell me that I probably was not ready to start yet really made me want to just come in and work on things on my own."
Head coach Mike Bobo has praised McCoy for the effort that he put in on his own over the summer and for looking like a much more mature player through the early stages of fall camp. The fourth-year head coach explained that it is a good sign to see this kind of growth in a young quarterback, because that is exactly what should have occurred after getting his first meaningful reps.
After getting a taste of the action during spring ball, McCoy began to work more with the wide receivers on his own to better develop chemistry. He also focused immensely on his improving his footwork. McCoy still needs to learn to consistently throw the football with more accuracy, which is something Bobo has referenced on multiple occasions. It is clear that McCoy has learned patience is a virtue though, and that his increase in maturity is paying off already.
Now a redshirt freshman, in his second year of school, McCoy has handled the addition of Washington graduate transfer QB K.J. Carta-Samuels with poise. He has continued to go about his business and work on improving the little things, so that if his number is called, he will be ready to go.
While Hill and Carta-Samuels have gotten the majority of the attention this preseason, we really do not know a whole lot about the former Washington QB and Hill's health is still a big question, so McCoy legitimately could see the field this year. With that in mind, McCoy is trying to take the advice he received from his coaches and focus on the things that are under his control.
McCoy is also trying to take a page from former starting QB Nick Stevens, who McCoy praised for having moxie and being a great leader through tough conditions. One of the ways that McCoy feels like he has improved greatly from 2017 to 2018 is being able to command his teammates in the huddle and also be a leader when they are off the field.
"Just getting with those guys and making sure that they are on the right track in school and in their playbooks," McCoy said.
With only 24 days remaining until CSU faces Hawaii in a zero week matchup on CBS Sports Network, McCoy likely has not improved his game enough to work his way into the conversation for the starting position at this point. But if the young, versatile QB improves his accuracy, and continues to put in good work at practice, McCoy might just find a way to heat up the quarterback debate.