Tennessee’s offense is set to be one of the most dynamic units in the country, and it got good news on the eligibility front Friday. Bru McCoy, a redshirt junior wide receiver who transferred to the program from USC in the offseason, has been declared immediately eligible by the NCAA following a waiver request that left his season in limbo.
McCoy, who transferred from USC to Texas and back to Los Angeles in 2019, needed USC to sign off on a No Participation Opportunity Form in order to play for the Volunteers in 2022. McCoy was arrested for suspicion of felony intimate partner violence in July 2021, which led to a full-season suspension and a ban from campus during a Title IX investigation. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office eventually dropped charges and the Title IX was closed due to insufficient evidence.
USC said earlier this week that it was cooperating with the waiver process, but second-year coach Josh Heupel seemed frustrated when it was brought up in a press conference.
“Our administration has done everything that they possibility can,” Heupel said. “They’ve been great throughout the entire process from the very beginning. They’re still working as hard as they can to give him the opportunity to play. I don’t have an answer on that. There are some things that are out of my control, Bru’s control and our administration’s control in this process. Everybody on our side is working as hard as they possibility can to make sure that we come to a resolution as quickly as possible and give the kid an opportunity to go play.”
McCoy was a five-star prospect and the No. 9 overall prospect in the Class of 2019. In six games during the COVID-19 season of 2020, McCoy hauled in 21 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns.
His eligibility is an enormous development for Tennessee and Heupel. The Volunteers get leading receiver Cedric Tillman (1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns) back, but lost fellow receivers Velus Jones and JaVonta Payton off of last year’s squad. McCoy, who is a 6-foot-3, 220-pounder with track star speed, is expected to be one of Hendon Hooker’s primary targets alongside Tillman. He adds further depth to a team that will also rely on sophomores Jabari Small and Jalin Hyatt to keep opposing secondaries honest deep downfield.
Tennessee will open the 2022 season at home Thursday against Ball State.