Tony McCoy

NCSU’s T.J. McCoy transfers to Gators to be closer to ailing dad

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A member of North Carolina State’s most recent recruiting class, as it turns out, won’t ever play a down for the Wolfpack because of a family situation.

The father of T.J. MCoy, former Florida Gator star Tony McCoy, has been battling leukemia the last four years.  Despite the obvious ties to the Gators, and his father’s health issues. the younger McCoy still signed with the Wolfpack coming out of high school in Groveland, Fla., less than an hour and a half from Gainesville.

McCoy enrolled early at NCSU, taking part in spring practice this year in the hopes of seeing early playing time.  Instead, a return home last month opened McCoy’s eyes to the need to be closer to his father.

“When I came home and I saw my dad’s condition, I thought to myself, ‘I have to be home. I have to be closer to him to help out,'” T.J. McCoy told the Orlando Sentinel. “When I saw him at home and saw how he was hurting and struggling, I knew I just had to be home and help out.

“Just simple things like getting up in the morning are hard for him. His body is aching. Sometimes he just sleeps all day. He is just very fatigued a lot of the time.”

With that visit fresh in his mind, McCoy sought a release from his NCSU scholarship, which was granted after a conversation with head coach Dave Doeren. “T.J., family comes first and I understand that you are dealing with a family issue,” McCoy quoted Doeren as saying.

In a series of Twitter posts that were subsequently deleted for whatever reason, McCoy stated that he would be transferring from NCSU to UF. McCoy subsequently confirmed to the Sentinel that he will indeed begin his collegiate career at his dad’s alma mater.

“Yes there was a time when I wanted to go to Florida [coming out of high school], and I am very excited that I am at Florida now,” the offensive lineman stated. “I know the circumstances aren’t how I’d like … I’m not glad this is the reason, but I’m glad to be close to home and I’m glad to be a Gator.”

UF has yet to announce McCoy’s addition to the roster, although the newspaper reports that a hardship waiver has been granted and he will be eligible to play immediately for the lineman-starved Gators. had McCoy rated as a two-star recruit.

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