KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – When Bru McCoy went down with his ankle injury against South Carolina, it was tough for many reasons. Not only did the Vols lose one of their top receivers, but also one of their top leaders.
“All the time, (and) effort that goes into getting yourself ready to play your best football over the course of the season. Nobody prepared harder than he had,” said Head Coach Josh Heupel. “He invested the right way and when you invest and now you no longer have that opportunity— you have an injury like he had— it’s hard. It’s devasting.”
Heupel said once McCoy is well enough to come back to the facility, the Vols will make sure he stays involved with the team as much as possible.
“It’s extremely important for our football team, the wide receiver room,” said Heupel. “He’s developed into an unbelievable leader inside of our program. For him too, I just think it’s important to be around guys that care about you. Still be a part of it and he will be a huge part of it when he gets back.”
As Bru is sidelined, Tennessee will rely on its other wideouts, including Dont’e Thornton who Heupel says should be good to go against Texas A&M after missing last weekend’s game, as well as Ramel Keyton, who stepped up last year when Cedric Tillman went down.
“It is plug-and-play,” Heupel said regarding the wide receiver room. “You can’t have a total overhaul of what you’re doing. (I) Believe in the guys that have gotten an opportunity to play. They have to continue to grow. They have to step up and be ready for that role. That’s why if you’re not a starter, not playing a bunch of football it’s not about where you’re at. It’s preparing yourself for the moment when you get the opportunity. Our guys have done that but they have to also continue to grow.”