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Tennessee WR lives it up with Vol fans, clearly a VFL

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Tennessee receiver Bru McCoy wasn’t supposed to be this good of a locker room influence. As it turns out, he’s taken leadership to new heights.

There were plenty of reasons to be concerned about McCoy, who transferred three times to get to Tennessee and faced NCAA hurdles to even be cleared to play in 2022. None of that got McCoy down. Well, if it did he didn’t share it with the hundreds of people who showed up for autographs at Sports Treasures in Fountain City on Saturday.

Despite coming off a nasty leg injury last September, McCoy stood up for anyone – and everyone – that wanted a picture during an autograph session on Saturday. McCoy asked every youngster if they played sports, addressed their parents in an incredibly accommodating way, even in the face of one young girl who was having too much of the event. Still, McCoy tried to calm her anxiety as the tears of exhilaration began to dry up.

McCoy also did some things that some might take for granted. He showed up on time and stayed longer than he was scheduled to. Sure, McCoy got paid for his time, but he also wasn’t afraid to show his appreciation for the opportunity.

“That’s why I’m so willing to spend my time and give back,” said McCoy who is also involved with several charities, including the Peyton Walker Fund, “because they’ve poured into me. And a lot of my motivation comes from them. Like wanting to get up and improve and be better and be a good representative for not only the brand of Tennessee, but also I grew up a huge fan of of athletes and everything growing up. 

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“So I try to give them the experience that I wanted. When I would meet somebody, I looked up to or admired. So that’s kind of how I think, like if I were them, how would I want to be treated? 

So how did McCoy treat his fans this weekend? Royally. There wasn’t an unhappy fan that left McCoy’s signing without a great feeling about the player that Tennessee needs so badly in the secondary. For. now, McCoy is the only receiver the Vols have that can dictate coverage and help open up the middle of the field. After he got hurt last season, Tennessee’s offense got much more simple.

McCoy also avoids “diva status” on the field. He blocks. No, I mean he really blocks. Whether it’s a wide receiver screen or a running play to his side, McCoy can mix it up with the best of them. 

I’m sure I could have gathered up information from the many autograph seekers about run-ins they’ve had with other athletes who deem their time too valuable to give back to fans. I’m even aware of some. There’s even one who is making millions in the pros that simply laughed at the notion of  stopping in for an autograph signing. Not McCoy.

McCoy discussed how much he loves the area and plans to retire in Knoxville when his playing career is over. He said his parents have already started house shopping. McCoy might play professional football elsewhere, possibly thousands of miles away, but he’ll have a home in Knoxville as long as he wants it, especially after the connection he’s built with Tennessee’s faithful.

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