Colt McCoy is throwing 40-50 balls a day in an intense rehabilitation program for the injury that knocked him out of the national championship game and hopes to fully participate in the NFL draft combine.
The former Texas quarterback said Monday that the nerve injury in his right shoulder is "really coming along" and is close to being 100 percent. "Hopefully I’ll be able to throw in the combine. That’s my goal, I love to compete, I want to go out and compete with those guys, go out there and throw and be myself," McCoy said. "But obviously if the doctors don’t let me, I’m not going to be able to do that."
McCoy has remained mostly in California doing rehab since getting hurt in the BCS title game Jan. 7. He returned to Texas to be recognized Monday night with the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback, and plans to return to the West Coast after speaking at an FCA banquet Thursday night in Austin.
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On the Longhorns’ fifth offensive play against Alabama last month, McCoy took a hard tackle that pinched a nerve and caused his throwing arm to go numb. He didn’t return in Texas’ 37-21 loss.
"The injury and I think the way that my college career ended has kind of sparked a fire inside of me as far as I’m going to show that I’m going to be ready to go. I’m going to show them that I’m the best, I’m going to show that I’m confident," he said. "I can’t wait to step out on the field again, forget the taste that’s in my mouth for the last time I played a game. That’s what’s driving me every day."
McCoy, whose rehab is being overseen by noted sports doctor James Andrews of Birmingham, Ala., said if his doctors determine he can’t throw at the combine that begins next week, he will still do everything else possible in Indianapolis. He also plans to participate in the Longhorns’ pro day March 31.
There is nothing structurally wrong with his throwing shoulder and McCoy is going through the process of restrengthening his arm.
"My arm feels really good. I’m able to do everything they ask me to do," he said. "It’s really healing quickly."
While his 45 career wins at Texas are an NCAA record, McCoy fell short of his ultimate goal of winning a national championship.
"It’s one of those things that you’ll think about forever. … Disappointing is probably the real word," McCoy said. "But at the same time, I’ve been raised the right way and you’ve got to find a positive in every situation. I think about that and I think about how I still have a lot of football left to play. I’m confident that my best football is ahead of me and that’s what keeps me going."
The O’Brien winner last year was Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, who missed all but three games of his junior season because of a shoulder injury sustained in the season opener last September. Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner and a close friend of McCoy’s, is also entering the NFL draft and has Andrews as his doctor. Bradford is working out in Florida.
"He definitely boosted me up a little bit, talked to me and said, ‘Hey, it’s one of the most frustrating things in the world. You’re strong and you’ll get over it,"’ McCoy said. "It kind of stinks that both of us had to go through something like that in the same year. We both try to look for the positive things, and both hope the best for each other."