NORMAN - Dressed in a navy blue T-shirt, black mesh shorts and a pair of OU sandals, Gerald McCoy slowly lumbered around the east corner of Owen Field.
It’s 2 p.m., and the Sooners’ brightest young football star looked like a zombie.
“I’m tired. I need to take a nap,” he said, slowly bending at the waist to take a seat. The wooden park bench creaked under his 290-pound frame.
“There are some parts of your body that you’ve never used until now.”
McCoy is one of three incoming Sooners participating in voluntary two-a-days with strength and conditioning coach Jerry Schmidt.
And for the very first time, he’s learned what it’s really
like to feel the burn.
“It’s a lot harder than high school,” McCoy said. “In high school, you breeze through workouts. They only hurt a little bit. But in college, it’s not just one workout where you can just breeze through. It’s all hard. Everything you do. Sometimes the warm-ups are even hard.”
This time last year, McCoy was spending his summer vacation the way any teenager would.
Going on family trips. Finding a summer job. Staying up late and waking up late.
He was one of the top defensive recruits in the country, going into his senior year at Southeast High in Oklahoma City. But he was also a typical teen.
“He worked out, but we wouldn’t let him get too bogged down,” said McCoy’s father, Keith McCoy. “It was important for him to relax during the summer. Like a normal kid.”
What a difference one year made.
In February, McCoy became the biggest name - and one of the biggest bodies - to sign with Oklahoma. At the time, recruiting experts projected the 6-foot-5 defensive tackle would make an immediate impact with the Sooners come August.
They were wrong.
The prediction was two months late.
McCoy moved to Norman in early June. And he’s spent nearly every minute of his precious summer vacation working to make good on that potential.
“I wake up every morning at 7 a.m. Gotta’ be at workouts by 8,” McCoy said, recounting his daily routine. “I show up at 7:30, because they like us to be early. I’m eating breakfast by 8:45. History of Jazz at 10:30. Then lunch. Then, I’ve got to work out again at 4:15 p.m.”
Add study hall three nights a week, plus a variety of meetings on Tuesday and McCoy can hardly find time to relax.
“I say stay pretty busy,” he said. “No free time at all, except to sleep.”
Players aren’t required to report until the first day of practice - Aug.