Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy spoke to the news media on a variety of topics following the Manning Award announcement.
On where he will go from here: I am in California. I started my rehab and training yesterday. I signed with an agent, Dave Dunn from Athletes First. I’m happy to be out here, happy to get started. It was a freak accident, freak hit during the game. It was one of those things that was really unfortunate. I would have done anything that I possibly could to get back in the game — that was never in question — but there was just no way based on the circumstances of the injury. I couldn’t hold on to the ball. I wouldn’t have been able to throw the ball where I wanted to, so I’ve seen Dr. (James) Andrews, the best doctor out there, and he basically told me I would be perfectly fine with two weeks of rehab. I’ll be back to 100 percent and I’m not vulnerable to that hit any more than anyone else is that plays the game. It was just one of those things that happened at the right time in the game, and it was tough for that to happen to me at that point, but I’m doing much better now and my shoulder should be 100 percent healthy in about two weeks.
On going over ‘what ifs’ about not getting hurt: I think as a competitor, as a quarterback, I played for four years in college and that would have been the biggest game that I would have ever gotten to play in. You work your whole career to be able to play in a game like that, to be in the national championship. The ups and downs of a season are long and hard and we were there, we made it, and for it to be taken away like that, obviously for me is very tough, hard to handle and hard to deal with, but at the same time, I’ve moved on. I know that the best football of my career hasn’t even started yet. I thank the Lord that I’m not rolling in for surgery or anything like that. You could question ‘what if’ all day long for the rest of your life, but for me, it’s going to be something that deep down is tough to handle, but I’ve moved on. I know that God has a plan for me and everything happens for a reason. Football is what I love, I have a passion for it and I know that the game is not taken away. I know that the best football is ahead of me and that’s what I’m working for right now.
On if there was any chance he could have played in the national championship after being diagnosed: There’s no way I could have played. I did everything I could to get back in the game. I even came out after halftime with my pads on. They wanted me to take a shower, put my sweats on and come out there and I told the doctors absolutely not, this feeling might come back in my arm and if it does I want to be ready to go and help my team. It was really hard. My teammates lived for the last four years with another quarterback back there. I thought Garrett Gilbert did tremendous when he stepped in and played, for the circumstances and for being a freshman, but for me, I absolutely tried every single way to get back in the game, but I know my body and I know my arm, and there was no feeling. There was no way I could have thrown the ball far or accurate or with any strength and that’s what I do as a quarterback. I came back in the second half with my pads on hoping that something would happen, that the feeling would come back. It never did so I just reverted to being a cheerleader and helping my team. Again, I’m really proud of my teammates and the way that they responded and the way that they fought to the very end.
On how long it took to get the feeling back in his arm: The numbness lasted for a pretty good time. I would say by the start of the second half I could raise my arm over my shoulder, but it was significantly weaker than the other arm. There was no way I could have held onto the ball, thrown the ball with accuracy or thrown the ball with strength. By the time that the game was over and through the night as I got back home to the hotel, I started getting more and more feeling when I woke up the next day. Obviously I know my body and I could tell that it was weaker than my left arm, but as each day went on — I think we’re six or seven days now — every day there’s a significant difference, there’s a significant strength gain. Now there’s not much more to gain, but every day I can tell a difference. That’s exactly how the doctors described it, they said it gets better and better, and by two weeks you should be 100 percent.
On his draft status: That’s not something that I can think about or even have an educated guess about right now. I’m focusing on the task ahead of me which involves getting both physically and mentally prepared to play in the NFL — getting prepared to have a long and successful career — that’s my focus right now. I know the quarterback that I am, I know how hard I’m going to work, I know how hard I’m going to prepare, and I know what I’ve done the last four years and that.s very special to me. I absolutely expect my shoulder to be 100 percent and ready to go and I’ll be fine.
On the timing of proposing to his girlfriend, Rachel: I figured that was going to come up. Yeah, that was awesome. She’s awesome. I know that if anything, she’ll make me even better than what I am. She’s going to push me to be the best and I know I have her full support and she’s a great girl.
On proposing at the stadium: I went to the doctor all day in Birmingham and got a great report, a great report, and I was fired up after that. When you go into the doctor you feel good, but you just don’t know if there could be something wrong. I got the extensive checkup and was there all day, everything went good and I got a great report and I had decided kind of where I’m going to go and rehab for this, where I was going to go and train with Dave Dunn and Athletes First; I had made those two decisions and Rachel and I had been dating for a long time and she absolutely makes me the best I can be. She pushed me to be the best. She doesn’t take anything less than my best in anything that I do and she’s really been a blessing to me first of all, and to my family, and I know that we’ll have a great relationship the rest of our lives. As I was going off to train, going off to rehab, going off to get ready for the next phase of my life, I knew that I wanted her to be a part of it. It was pretty neat. She kind of walked right into my whole plan of going out on the field. I didn’t even have to ask her to go, that’s what she wanted to do that night. We were out there and I had it all set up and it was pretty special.
On his fiancee’s ring: I did pick it out. I designed it myself. Nobody else has that ring, so I wanted it to be unique to her and special to her and that’s what I did.
Read the complete interview online.