Woodrow Wilson High alumnus Greg McCoy is senior cornerback this year for the Rose Bowl champion TCU Horned Frogs. We talked to him in August, as he was gearing up for the fall season.

It all started at Woodrow. Landing there was the best thing that ever happened to me. Even though the school was in a big city, it offered a small-town environment, and I was surrounded by good people. The way the parents, the fans, the cheerleaders — everybody — supported us was unbelievable. At Woodrow, there is just a real homey feel and a lot of love.

McCoy met key influences at Woodrow. Bobby Estes, my coach at Woodrow — No doubt, he was my biggest influence. There was a game — a scrimmage against Pinkston — where I clearly remember watching film with Coach Estes, and he told me exactly what to expect: “See,” he said, “when you got a wide split you may get a slant.” OK, OK, I thought. It didn’t really hit me until the game, when they actually ran the slant and I made a big play, that I could trust my coaches, and myself. That is one of the most memorable moments from high school, and it kind of set the tone for the season — it’s not just on-the-field talent, but doing your homework and watching film. Estes pushed me to limits I didn’t think possible. Sergio Kindle, who plays at University of Texas, took me under his wing when we played together in high school. He helped me a lot dealing with on- and off-the-field issues.

Woodrow alumnus Greg McCoy is senior cornerback this year for the Rose Bowl champion TCU Horned Frogs. / Photo by Benjamin Hager

McCoy didn’t always have his sights set on college. Football was always about fun. Love of the game, not college, was the motivation. But I guess when I had to buckle down in class and do things off the field in order to get on the field, I realized that I could go to college and do things I never imagined I could do.

Several universities came calling, but he liked TCU the best. To me, it was a fairly easy choice. TCU approached first, and afterward, a lot of big schools followed. Some of them were pretty arrogant. The way TCU came at me showed character. Coaches Dan Sharp, Charles McMillan and head coach Gary Patterson came to me, and I connected with them. Once I met those guys, toured the campus and saw the kind of people that are here at TCU, I fell in love with it.

When he arrived at TCU, McCoy was the fastest guy on the field. The recruiting is getting better and better. More competitive. So I guess we’ll have to see if that’s still the case. But in my head, I can always win.

This year, there’s a clear-cut goal. Do better than last year. Each year better than the last.

He’s enjoying the moment at TCU. Sure, there are dreams of playing in the NFL, but that’s not the focus right now.

If an outsider asked him to describe East Dallas, he’d tell them there were two sides to it. There’s one side of the so-called train tracks, a little rougher area, which is where I come from. Then you have Lakewood. More of the people from Lakewood are interested and involved in the school and their community. People read newspapers, and we gave interviews to reporters. Getting to mix and get to know people of different ethnicities, it was a valuable experience.

Playing in the Rose Bowl last year was one of the biggest games of his life. At Woodrow we fell short of being in a big game senior year. We played against Copperas Cove in the playoffs, but we just fell short. Being in the Rose Bowl, being able to contribute and to watch my teammates perform so well, it was amazing.

— Benjamin Hager and Christina Hughes Babb. Some quotations have been edited for brevity.

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