Tech’s McCoy says ‘no thanks’ to helicoptering Vols

Tennessee’s high-flying recruiting tactics didn’t wow everybody.

Georgia Tech commitment Denzel McCoy of Northview High was not impressed by Tennessee's high-flying act and declined thei Vols' attempts to reopen his recruitment. (AJC photo)

Georgia Tech commitment Denzel McCoy of Northview High was not impressed by Tennessee's high-flying act and declined thei Vols' attempts to reopen his recruitment. (AJC photo)

Northview defensive lineman Denzel McCoy, who has been committed to Georgia Tech since April, has long been a target of the Volunteers. He said Tennessee assistant coach Ed Orgeron called him Friday and said head coach Lane Kiffin were going to be at his game against North Gwinnett last Friday in Suwanee.

“I didn’t know they were going to come in a helicopter,” McCoy said with a laugh.

The Vols’ coaches flew there in a rented helicopter after watching the first half of the M.L King-Stephenson game in Clarkston.

“I thought it was  interesting,” McCoy said, “but it didn’t really affect me. That’s why I committed to Tech when I did, so I would have recruiting behind me and be able to concentrate on my senior season. I’m solid with Tech. I told them that.”

The copter ploy didn’t have quite the same effect in Suwanee as it did at Hallford Stadium, where the pilot landed about 30 yards away from the field in full view of the stadium crowd. In Suwanee they arrived after the game had started and had to land a quarter-mile away in the backyard of resident Lee Wood. There they were met by North Gwinnett athletics director Mark Karen, who then drove them to the stadium. They did buzz the stadium before landing, however.

“They wanted to [land next to stadium] but we couldn’t let them for safety reasons. We have too many Georgia fans,” Karen joked.

No, most of the Tennessee coaches’ work was done before the game. They visited North Gwinnett High and coach Bob Sphire in the afternoon — offensive tackle JaWuan James is the Vols’  No. 1 target — and called McCoy on the phone.

“Coach Kiffin told me he respected my decision to go with Tech,” said McCoy, who said he still gets hand-written letters from Kiffin every week. “But he told me it broke his heart when he heard I committed and said he wanted me to come up on Oct. 31. He said he was hired on my birthday, Dec. 1, and that made it destiny for me to come to Tennessee.”

McCoy said he respectfully declined. He said the Vols’ coaches made a similar play for Yellow Jackets’ commitment Anthony Williams of Union Grove. Williams also declined an invitation to visit Tennessee.

Not only does McCoy remain loyal to Georgia Tech, he is also one of the Yellow Jackets’ most effective recruiters. The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder, who plays defensive end for Northview, talks to almost every one of Tech’s commitments every week and has forged relationships with some of its uncommitted recruits as well.

“”I’m on a lot of guys right now,” McCoy said matteroffactly. “I talk to [d-line recruit] Kareem Martin every Tuesday and Thursday just to see how he’s doing and see how his recruitment is going and tell him why he ought to come play for us.”

In fact, McCoy is like the social butterfly of football recruiting. He said he’s best friends with UGA commitment Garrison Smith of Douglass High. Among the numbers you’ll find in McCoy’s phone are those of Tennessee commitment Markeith Ambles of Henry County, Vanderbilt commitment Chris Boyd of Roswell, Stephenson High defensive tackle Mike Thornton, Tennessee commitments Brandon Willis and Corey Miller of Byrnes High in Duncan, S.C., Washington commitment Nick Montana of California.

“I talk to everybody,” McCoy said.  “I just know a lot of people, I guess. I’ve lived in two big cities, here and Miami, and I guess I’m kind of a people person.”

As for Tennessee, McCoy said it was one of the schools he seriously considered out of more than 30 offers.

“I actually went there for Junior Day,” he said. “I was there for the whole ‘Wild Boys’ shirt thing.”

His impression? Not impressed.

“One of the things I liked about Tech was, Coach [Giff] Smith and Coach [Paul] Johnson, they didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear,” McCoy said. “They were telling me the truth about things. That whole helicopter thing, it’s not for me.”

142 comments Add your comment

Hey Dogtards

October 21st, 2009
10:17 am

“That whole helicopter thing, it’s not for me.”

This is why I love being a yellow jacket. I’m glad you can see through Kiffin’s recruiting ploys. He is the definition of telling you what you want to hear. CPJ will tell it to you straight, for better or for worse. We’re excited to get you on the line, Mr. McCoy.

billcanoe

October 21st, 2009
10:19 am

You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, young man. Sticking to commitments is a very important thnig in life. Good luck to you.

Gt4ever

October 21st, 2009
10:22 am

With kids like that, we may beat UGA to a NC yet! Coach Johnson just keep being a straight shooter and keep up the recruiting……

GTfan

October 21st, 2009
10:29 am

Lane Kiffin is quite the character….

SouthKnoxvillian

October 21st, 2009
10:36 am

I’m an Air Force vet. I still remember these two Marines at an air show we had in South Carolina. Every time the F-22 would fly by, they would say stuff like, “I’m not impressed!”

Fact is, this articles very existence reeks of little man syndrome.

Lars Tate

October 21st, 2009
10:38 am

WHY DOES THE AJC HATE THE DAWGS! KIFFIN JOHNSON MYER ALL STINK, COME ON THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A LIBERAL CONSPIRACY TO BRING DOWN THE NATIONS #1 PROGRAM!

DAWGFANHARDCORE

October 21st, 2009
10:43 am

Hey NERDS, why don’t you go celebrate with another ring, oh wait you’ll have to beat us this year first. Just wait til Nov. when we kick yalls butts and you’ll see these recruits jumping the Tech sinking ship and into those helicopters.

Hey kid,
Word of advice… UGA plays real teams, why don’t you come to a real football school where you can play real football.

DAWGFANHARDCOORS

October 21st, 2009
10:46 am

Too many beers my friend?? You must be drunk to think UGA will do anything this year… or any years during CPJ’s reign

GTcoaches

October 21st, 2009
10:46 am

Denzel, Good idea to stick with your commitment. In life your words should stand for something. Come and play a role in building Tech’s National Championship team(s).

Ol Skool

October 21st, 2009
10:46 am

That’s why I had to go against my religion and pull for UGA two weeks ago. Can’t stand Lane Kiffin. This unfortunately does appeal to certain kinds of kids who have not had the benefit of responsible mentoring as it appears Denzel has been exposed to. I wish the parents would get involved and steer their kids away from this guy. If there was ever a snake oil salesman this dude is it. I love CPJ. GT ‘78

62jacket

October 21st, 2009
10:48 am

I know things can change, but how refreshing to hear a young man say he’s going to honor his commitment when other schools are still recruiting him hard. His help in recruiting for Tech is an added bonus. Denzel, I’ll look forward to rooting for you from the West Stands.

gatorsam

October 21st, 2009
10:52 am

It’s so much fun to read all of the bragging on two programs heading nowhere!!! Go Gators!!!

Glenn

October 21st, 2009
10:52 am

DAWGFANHARDCORE – Shouldn’t the Bulldogs win a few games from some real teams before you go spouting off your mouth like that? Georgia’s about to get embarrassed in Jacksonville again by Florida, and by the time they get to Atlanta to play in Bobby Dodd Stadium, maybe, just maybe they will have had enough time to lick their wounds so that they won’t totally disgrace themselves again in front of the whole football world.

Better yet, maybe they will.

Glenn

October 21st, 2009
10:54 am

Disgrace themselves…in front of the whole football world; again.

TechforLife

October 21st, 2009
10:59 am

Gatorsam, I bet you are on top of the world, all those years getting destroyed by those two ACC teams in the state of Florida. Of all people you should understand coming out of a trough of mediocrity and hitting a high. This kid is bar none an excellent addition to GT and I hope he excels on and off the field. Good luck McCoy.

OCDawg

October 21st, 2009
11:03 am

At least Dawgs and Jackets can agree on this one thing.

VolNation

October 21st, 2009
11:07 am

Thanks for another article on Lane Kiffin. So not every kid was wowed by the helicopter, ok, is that a news story? Is it one if they are? No. But this paper is starting to show some kind of weird obsession with Lane Kiffin ever since that UGA butt-kicking we dished out.

SouthKnoxvillian

October 21st, 2009
11:11 am

Amen VolNation. I was getting a little worried with the Knoxville murder trial getting all the press in TN. GA stepped in to take up the slack.

RonnieGarDner

October 21st, 2009
11:14 am

Amazing how Northview turns out all these big time recruits in football & basketball, but they are lousy (especially in football) as a team. Ever since their existance they have been a very poor excuse for a football team. Not even sure they have ever had a winning season. Then the kids go off to college and you never hear much from them. Oh well, they way it goes I guess.

tech...were only good at calculus

October 21st, 2009
11:14 am

He said he was hired on my birthday, Dec. 1, and that made it destiny for me to come to Tennessee. – what a tool

Reggie Ball

October 21st, 2009
11:17 am

rduck

October 21st, 2009
11:21 am

Ilove the fact that Denzel was quick to let Mr.

rduck

October 21st, 2009
11:25 am

I love the fact that Denzel was so quick to tell Mr. Kiffin and his rent-a copter crew “Thanks but no thanks”. You really seem to be a great kid of character and a heck of a ball player. We at Tech look forward to your years here on the flats. Hopefully more kids will see what you have done and take that kind of loyal example to heart. Good for you young man.

Tech fan

October 21st, 2009
11:27 am

I am SOCKED to see that there are no Georgia fans to comment here….Tennessee is still there recruits as well. Actually they already HAVE stolen some of UGA’s recruits!!

SavannahGT

October 21st, 2009
11:31 am

It’s painfully obvious that DAWGFANHARDCORE did not go to school at Georgia or anywhere else for that matter. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

At least get a decent helicopter

October 21st, 2009
11:32 am

I saw the photo of the little rental helicopter that he landed in at one of the stadiums. It was the sorriest little cheap helicopter you could rent. I don’t know helicopters, but if you are going to make an impression don’t show up in the lamest one you can rent. What are you trying to say? Come play for the Vols and you too can rent a homemade looking helicopter and fly it in to impress 17 year old boys.

The destiny line he used sounded like a high school senior trying to hit a home run with some girl he took to the movies on a Friday night. I hope all of his assistants clowned him when this was leaked out. I would have had more respect for him if he used that line on his secretary. At least it would have been used for a good cause.

gafan1

October 21st, 2009
11:36 am

Tech fan, come on dude, read your post……It makes no sense. You are Socked. I don’t know what that means, but it does not sound good.

I am glad this young man is sticking to his guns. I am not a GT fan, but I do like what Johnson is doing in Atlanta.

Jesus Juice

October 21st, 2009
11:36 am

Tech fan

October 21st, 2009
11:27 am
I am SOCKED to see that there are no Georgia fans to comment here….Tennessee is still there recruits as well. Actually they already HAVE stolen some of UGA’s recruits!!

And Tech fans claim to be smarter?

Reggie Ball

October 21st, 2009
11:43 am

Too bad Lane Kiffin wasn’t around 6 years ago to recruit me. I definitely would have been wooed and saved all you GT fans years of pain.

Coach Smith

October 21st, 2009
11:44 am

UGA Alum here. This kid sounds like he’s got it right. Kiffin’s antics are getting tiresome. It’s good to hear one of these kids say he isn’t impressed. Unfortunately, what makes a good recruiter is a good liar. UT is loaded with them. To tell a high school kid he broke your heart is absurd and would be difficult for most to do without a guilty conscience. Obviously not a problem for Kiffin. And on top of that playing the destiny card is laughable. Who is Lane Kiffin? Is it really McFly from Back to the Future? “You are…my destiny!” You tech fans shoudl eb familiar with that character! Sorry, had to throw a jab in there…

What???

October 21st, 2009
11:47 am

Tennesse is still there recruits as well. Jesus Juice is this a coherent thought? Don’t pop your mouth off about intelligence until you form a coherent thought, and express it through writing.

Read the Post

October 21st, 2009
11:50 am

Hey What??? – I don’t want to speak for Jesus Juice, but I believe he is making fun of the “Tech Fan” that posted at “October 21st, 2009 11:27 am”

hunker down

October 21st, 2009
12:02 pm

Stories like these are very impressive of a youth that is a lot more mature than those cronological. To be focused on his team and want to get the recruiting process behind him says volumes about him. All the hoopla did not distract a young man that many times are so impressionable. Good for you Denzel to have a plan and stick to it. Good luck at Tech!

ATLdawg, ya dig?

October 21st, 2009
12:03 pm

How the heck did this turn into another UGA-GT fight? Can’t we all get along and agree that Kiffin is a d-bag?

Shananeeeeee Fananeeeeeeee

October 21st, 2009
12:04 pm

Tennessee is on the rise, Georgia is on the decline. Georgia Tech is on the rise, Georgia is on the decline. Both of these are true for the next several years.

Brew

October 21st, 2009
12:07 pm

Chip, you slipped here my man. That headline left out Kiffin and substituted Vols. Folks won’t be as quick to jump in here and take shots. Good use of helicoptering, though it might be a little too subtle for some of these folk.
Love these “snakeoil salesman” comments and such. I don’t believe some of you fully comprehend that you have to be a salesman to recruit. You use all legal, and for some schools, illegal methods you can to get the best players you can. If UT is using illegal tactics it’ll come to light, but since they are dominating all recruiting press in the south, you’d think someone could have dug up something by now. But the silence is deafening.
Good for the kid for sticking to his commitment. That’s a rare thing.

dh

October 21st, 2009
12:09 pm

In regards to Tech Fan, you don’t have to read past ‘I am SOCKED’ to know you should read no further.

As a Tech fan and UT grad, I am glad McCoy is staying committed to the Jackets. Even though I was elated to see the Vols beat uga, it is hard to root for Kiffin. He is a bit cocky and his antics have not impressed me. Maybe I’m to old school but I like the attitude CPJ has brought and it is hard to argue with his results. I just hope Tech is smart enough to make him a permanent fixture on the Flats for a long time to come.

Wreck

October 21st, 2009
12:18 pm

Kiffin is a tool.

Go Jackets.

Jay

October 21st, 2009
12:18 pm

Playing in front of 100,000 fans in the SEC > playing in front of 40,000 fans and 15,000 empty seats in the ACC. Hope your Management degree will be able to get you a job.

DMWC

October 21st, 2009
12:21 pm

Ooh a hellycopter!!! Good one, Lane! Maybe he can start driving up to recruits’ houses in a Harley with flames shooting out of it.

I suspect most recruits worth having understand that they are making a decision for the rest of their lives — both football and otherwise — and aren’t going to be impressed by Knoxville Fonzie.

ReptilesRule

October 21st, 2009
12:29 pm

Got to love a young man who is true to his word. Gimmicks, in the long run, will not bring in quality recruits because someone who is overly impressed by stunts will soon fall for another one.Other than creating a temporary news cycle, I don’t think that Kiffins low rent “kittycopter” is gonna have a lasting effect any more than Auburns coaches riding around in limos…

Geori

October 21st, 2009
12:30 pm

Kiffin is a pretty funny dude. I like hearing about his antics not that I think they’ll actually work.

BravesFan79

October 21st, 2009
12:31 pm

I like this McCoy guy.. …good choice man in choosing GT over Tennessee. GT plays more prime time games, and is clearly the better team right now! Who wants to be stuck on a middle of the pack team in the SEC when you can jump unto a Top ACC team!
Just imagine how good GT is gonna be once we have a top defense to match our nations best rushing attack! I really feel that if college football had a 8 team playoff system, GT would qualify for it most years. The same cannot be said for Tennessee.

Jay Blows

October 21st, 2009
12:33 pm

Jay,

The Mngt. degree far outweighs the Recreation and Leisure Studies that some Universities offer up.

BTW, your break is over. Go out and clear some more tables, so our patrons have a clean place to eat.

WalkSoftly

October 21st, 2009
12:34 pm

Do they make bullet-proof Kevlar flack jackets in GT Gold?

VolsRule

October 21st, 2009
12:34 pm

Win some – lose some. Kid is a Tech commitment and respect his loyalty – I wish him the best.

Kiffin is clearly out working nearly all head coaches on the field, at practice, and in recruiting.

This I know for sure:
1. Historically – UT has had a better program than UGA.
2. Currently – UT has a better program than UGA.
– won last 3 out of 4 in BLOW OUT fashion
3. UT has won 13 of the last 19 games against UGA
4. What Georgia is to TENNESSEE – Kentucky is to Georgia.
By that I mean we expect UGA to put up a good fight for about 2-1/2 quarters – but this game is one we circle win every year. Much like UGA does with Kentucky.
5. Under Richt – UGA has come full circle – now fighting off SC for SEC #3 position. This team and program is now in worse shape than how Richt found it. At least Donnan left this program in very hood shape.
6. For UGA – the slide continues
- after this weekend – UGA will be 4-4.
- Will beat TN TECH (5-4)
- Will get embarrassed at GT (come on UGA fans – you know this beat down is coming!!!)
– Will be luck to split AUB/KY – at best 6-6
– If they get beat by AUB – look for UGA to lose out – finishing 5-6.

My money is now on 5-6!!!!!!!!!

Hey guys – been there! UT changed coaches – what is UGA going to do!!!

3. Gerogia is to UT what Kentucky is to

BigMike Said

October 21st, 2009
12:36 pm

ReptilesRule… Gimmick plays? Gimmick plays! That the Story of Urban and Teboned (Ask UK fans).

goldentornado

October 21st, 2009
12:39 pm

If Tech recruits can be deceived by these gimmicks, then they probably don’t need to come to Tech. ToolBag Kiffin is a blip, he’ll be gone within five years. I wish he had the nerve to schedule Tech or that Tech could play him in a bowl, oh wait, UT isn’t relevant and won’t be bowling in the same league.

Kevin

October 21st, 2009
12:40 pm

UGA fans could be the dumbest people on the planet yet they continuously try to outdo themselves on the AJC.

JJ

October 21st, 2009
12:41 pm

I still think it’s funny when they said that one of the injuries when the goal post was tore down was an asthma attack!! Only at GT. Get an inhaler techy!!