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Bru McCoy: A quiet storm rising

By: William Allen

Senior Staff Writer

The All Vol Call in Show


Photo | USA Today

Tumultuous accusations and media coverage have followed Horace "Bru" McCoy III. Since his unspecified illness in 2019, multiple transfers to Texas, and then back to USC in six months, McCoy has received social media backlash over the years.

After making a splash at USC in a shortened 2020 season, Bru was hit with another setback. An arrest on July 24th derailed Bru’s season, and he was removed from the USC roster during an investigation.

Surrounded by negativity, Bru often remembers the words spoken to him by his grandfather, Horace McCoy Sr., when he was in the ninth grade.

"You have to be quiet in the storm," says Horace Sr.

"There can be a whole storm raging around you. Your team is losing. Everyone is upset with you. But you have to be quiet; quietness will get you where you want to be."

"When chaos is raging around you, that’s when it’s time to get quiet, to listen, and to think," says Horace Sr. "Just be the quiet in the storm."listen, and to think," says Horace Sr. "Just be the quiet in the storm."

McCoy received the nickname "Bruiser" from his grandmother when he was eight months old. That nickname was later changed to "Bru." McCoy announced his transfer to the University of Tennessee football program in May of 2022, and whenever he catches the ball, the fans yell "Bruuuuuuu!"

All McCoy has done since coming to Tennessee is ball out with 600 yards receiving, two touchdowns, and a 13.3-yard catch average, not to mention three 100-yard games against Florida, LSU, and Missouri.

The 6'3" and 220-pound wide receiver from Palos Verdes Estates, California, has made an immediate impact as a reliable target for Heisman frontrunner Hendon Hooker. In retrospect, it was McCoy’s huge catch against Alabama that allowed Tennessee to move into field-goal position.

With Tennessee having college football's #1 offense, it’s expected that a majority of the offensive production will be 2023 NFL draft picks. Assuming quarterback Joe Milton III returns next season, Bru McCoy, Ramel Keyton, Squirrel White, Walker Merrill, and Jimmy Holiday will lead the way.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if McCoy went to the NFL draft with his size, strength, and catch radius. He’s been a quiet storm for the Vols, and his story of perseverance will be remembered in Tennessee football history.


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