Here comes another quarterbacking McCoy in Texas


Associated Press

Posted on December 17, 2009 at 4:34 PM

GRAHAM, Texas (AP) — That's a McCoy standing on the longhorn logo at midfield, tossing passes in preparation for his bid to win a championship.

This isn't Colt McCoy surrounded by burnt orange and 100,000 seats at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin. It's his little brother, Case McCoy, on a simple white painting at tiny Newton Field, the 3,800-seat home of the Graham Steers.

The youngest McCoy gets a chance Saturday night to win one of the few things his famous sibling never did — a Texas high school championship. After that, measuring up will be much tougher, if not impossible.

Case McCoy will eventually be headed 250 miles to the southeast to join the Texas Longhorns, unfazed by the prospect of constant comparisons to his brother, the winningest quarterback in college history. The burden will only grow if Colt McCoy and No. 2 Texas beat top-ranked Alabama in the BCS championship game Jan. 7.

"I'm 18 years old now, and I've been living under his expectations this whole time," Case McCoy said. "Anywhere I go right now, with the publicity he has and the legend that he left on college football, anywhere I go I'm going to be living in his shoes."

There's a good chance Colt McCoy will be there when his brother leads Graham against Carthage in the Class 3A Division II championship game at SMU. It will be something of a replay for the McCoy boys and their father/coach, Brad McCoy. They just hope the ending will be different.

Six years ago in the tiny West Texas outpost of Tuscola, Brad was the coach, Colt was the junior quarterback and Case was the ball boy.

It was one thing for Dad to try to console Colt McCoy when his oldest son realized he had never been on the field at the end of a loss before that defeat in a Class 2A championship game. It was quite another to try to comfort the sixth-grader in full Jim Ned Indians uniform, sobbing on the sideline in the final seconds.

"He looked at me with those big crocodile tears and said, 'Dad, we're not going to win. Colt's not going to win,'" Brad McCoy said of 12-year-old Case.

Brad McCoy might need someone to console him Saturday night. It's the final game after 12 years of coaching his boys. His middle son, Chance, was a receiver Colt's senior year at Jim Ned and Case's freshman year in Graham.

Four seasons of high school games on Friday night and Texas games on Saturday culminated last week when Colt McCoy, twice a Heisman Trophy finalist, was on the awards circuit. Brad McCoy didn't want to miss all of it, but he had to prepare for the state semifinals. On consecutive days, he went to Orlando, Fla., the Dallas area and New York, returning to Graham each time.

Debra McCoy missed one of her husband's games for the first time last week because she had to be on Colt's whirlwind tour of the East Coast. They were in Baltimore when they got updates on Graham's 27-20 victory against Pittsburg.

"Bart Starr was giving an incredible speech, and they were listening to what his little brother was doing on the text message," Brad McCoy said with a laugh.

Brad McCoy's crazy schedule was cause for criticism a year ago when Graham finished 3-7 and missed the playoffs. The players, though, used the McCoy celebrity factor as a rallying point for getting back to the playoffs and making a run similar to one the Steers enjoyed when Case was a freshman.

"They knew he had pressure," said offensive line coach Brian Hodnett. "Other teams really get up to play us because it's Colt's little brother. I think Case's teammates kind of took it as a challenge. And they say, 'We're going to help you with that. We know people are gunning for you. Some people want to see you fail. We don't care.'"

The predictable trash talk bothered Case early in his high school career. It didn't help when he was forcing things by trying to do too much during last year's losing season. He's at ease now, though, adopting a "Remember Eli" motto and reminding people that Peyton Manning's younger brother won a Super Bowl, too.

"I love Peyton Manning, just like I love Colt," Case McCoy said. "You've got to take some of it on yourself and just say not only do I want to be as good as, I want to be better than him."

Colt McCoy warned his dad not to let Case go into Texas coach Mack Brown's office on a recruiting trip. He knows that hard sell better than anyone.

Sure enough, Case McCoy went into Brown's office. He didn't make it back out before reaching the seemingly insane conclusion that it would be a good idea to follow his brother to Texas.

"I was happy and I was elated because there's no place I'd rather him go," Brad McCoy said. "But I just really couldn't believe he did it right there. Colt was right. He said, 'I told you he couldn't do it. Too much pressure.'"

And that's only the beginning.