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long path ends in NFL

He opens a door to reveal a basement beneath the basement of his father’s house. It’s dark. There’s a concrete floor, an old wood panel ceiling, a row of light wood cabinets that look like they belong in a new kitchen and a metal squat rack that looks like it belongs in a place called The Dungeon.

“I call this workout 770,” McKoy says. “770 reps.”

Shirtless and wearing blue WestConn shorts, McKoy begins with squats, his back muscles contracting as he pumps through 215 pounds with ease. Each rep is punctuated with a hard, short breath. Each breath includes a muffled number. He counts down from 10.

McKoy has been counting down the days lately. The NFL Draft begins May 8, and he could become Stratford’s first selection since his neighbor, , in 2010.

He awaits Draft Day with excitement but tempered expectation. He’s a late rounder, maybe. He could go undrafted. As long as he’s in an NFL camp, he’s fine. As long as he gets a chance .

McKoy’s mornings are spent in The Dungeon or at Crunch, the Stratford gym. He watches a whole lot of NFL Network in the afternoon. He’s a self proclaimed football historian. I mean, the guy’s favorite player of all time is Red Grange. Trust me. He knows his stuff.

He knows that Terrence West, considered by many to be the top running back available in the 2014 draft, wasn’t a Division I A player. He may not know the exact numbers, but they shouldn’t surprise him or anybody: Twenty five of the 32 NFL teams have undrafted running backs on their rosters, five undrafted tailbacks were regular starters in 2013, and seven cheap nfl jerseys others earned spot starts or received significant carries.

Two of those guys Detroit’s Joique Bell and San Diego’s were Division II college backs. Only Buffalo’s came from the Division III ranks.

McKoy, whose dynamic cutback ability and affable personality breathed life into Division III train wreck Western Connecticut State this past fall, says he’s received interest from the Colts, Redskins, Chargers, Patriots, Raiders, Falcons and Jets.

Catching his breath between sets, McKoy announces cheap nfl jerseys from china “90 abs.” He knocks them out quickly.

McKoy has taped his workouts to the cabinet near the squat rack. On the last of the four cabinet doors, there’s a single sheet that reads, “If I practice, train, work harder and want it more than anybody else, I own victory.” Words spoken by a 16 year old Octavias McKoy.

Now 24 with a thin beard and NFL muscle, McKoy keeps the past neatly stored in three orange Nike shoeboxes in The Dungeon. Right next to some garbage bags, a bin of memorabilia, and a laundry machine. He cleaned the place up just a few weeks ago. Taking a cue from his half brother, former Stratford basketball star , McKoy organized his college letters, previously stacked in random piles, into the shoeboxes.

Wisconsin sent him a bunch from September to December 2005, his sophomore year. Notre Dame, too. UConn got in contact in October 2005, and Michigan State, Syracuse, Virginia and were hounding him for a few months as well. Then there’s Florida, which shipped letters to McKoy in March and April of 2007.

He wholesale jerseys from china has a whole separate box dedicated to Iowa. The Hawkeyes wholesale jerseys must have sent 80 letters. Maybe more. They mailed an official scholarship offer on March 2, 2007.

Puffing from 90 reps of abs, McKoy lower his headphones.

“When I was in high school, I used to create myself in video games and be on all these college teams,” he says, “but I didn’t really put it in perspective like, Wow this team wants you on its actual roster.’ As a teenager, you’re not grasping it.”

McKoy slips his headphones back on. He’s got variety in his workout tunes: some rap, some , even some motivational speeches by and . He’ll sing along or repeat words as he lifts. His music blaring, he moves to incline bench, repping out 205.

“It’s getting too easy,” he says. “I might have to get up to 1,000 reps.”

Despite the hundreds of letters, McKoy never qualified academically for Division I. Didn’t take school seriously enough. He attended two junior colleges one in Kansas, the other in Arizona and primarily played defense. When that went nowhere, he moved to North Carolina with his grandfather. Country living. Running sprints on a farm.

He then moved to his aunt’s house in Edgewood, Md., where he worked at . His dad, , was happy. His son was working hard and paying his bills.

McKoy wasn’t necessarily thrilled, though. Football had always been his calling, and when he bumped into linebacker at a nightclub, he began to reconsider the direction in which his life was moving.Articles Connexes:

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