Life as a Longhorn
In what some people might think of as the offseason, Longhorns QB Colt McCoy recently filled his day during finals with a morning workout, writing a six-page paper, following with an appearance at a banquet downtown honoring Mack Brown, and finally speaking at a gathering of high school and middle school students in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) at a church on the outskirts of Austin.
It is all just an example of what he and his Longhorns teammates face on a regular basis in being active members of the community, while balancing their time as student-athletes.
"I feel honored for people to ask me to do things like this and speak at certain events and be part of certain things, so I'm excited about that," McCoy said. "At the same time, it's tough to cram it into your schedule when you have a tough schedule during finals and during school. But I feel like being able to do that is part of being a quarterback, it's part of being a Longhorn. It's giving back to the people who support you. It's really important."
At The Ministry of Challenge event, McCoy joined teammates Jamaal Charles and Jermichael Finley in support of Brown and UT basketball head coach Rick Barnes, who were being honored by the organization that works to help people recover from things such as addictions or criminal activity and return them to the work force and the community as contributors.
"I hadn't really been involved with (The Ministry of Challenge) much before, but I knew what it was about, and I knew of the work they do," McCoy said. "In the future, I will be involved with it. It just shows you how supportive (coach Brown and coach Barnes) are of people who strive to make Austin a better place and to help people who are in need.
"Coach Brown and coach Barnes are always there for us. Their doors are constantly open for us when we have struggles to go and talk to them and work things out. For them, to see Pastor Tony (Johnson) and all the work he does and want to help, it's no wonder we have the best coaches in the nation. The Ministry is a great thing, and it just shows the spirit of everyone."
McCoy barely made it through half a piece of chicken before time demanded he rush off to the FCA meeting of Lake Travis High School and Middle School. There, he spoke to almost 100 kids on the importance of keeping perspective and having values in their lives.
"I just try to get up there and be myself and talk to them and be a person they can look up to -- a role model," McCoy said. "I'm not perfect, but at the same time, I know they watch the Longhorns play on TV, and they know who all of us are. They look up to us whether we would want them to or not. Being able to be that positive influence, that positive person that can be an example for them, I enjoy that. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is important. There are a lot of good kids, a lot of young kids who are great Christians and great athletes. Being able to go talk to them and help them is a lot of fun."
Robert Brewer helped organize the meeting and is a former quarterback himself at UT, having played in the early '80's. He also worked in the Longhorn Foundation for seven years.
"It is so impressive to see a young man like Colt McCoy, who has had a lot of accolade at a very young age, have the perspective that he has and understand the help he's had along the way in the team aspect and what he puts priority on, which in this case is God," Brewer said. "His giving of his time to share that with young people, that's what life is all about as you mature. He seems to understand that more than most at his age."
It's all part of what McCoy sees as taking advantage of his position to give back to those in need.
"It can be hard because I get asked to do so many things," McCoy admitted. "When I have time and I can fit something in, I usually do it. It's so hard to turn people down, because I hate doing that. I would love to do everything for everybody. When there is an opportunity to do things, especially talking to kids and giving them encouragement and helping them out with problems they're facing, I feel like that's part of giving back and part of what God has blessed me with in order to be able to give back to them."