Mike McCoy, who started at quarterback for Long Beach State last season, has transferred to the University of Utah and will join the Utes in spring practice.
Long Beach State dropped its football program at the end of last season, which means its players are eligible to play for other schools immediately.McCoy, who is 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, started five games and played in three more as a redshirt freshman last season. He completed 87 of 165 passes (53 percent) for 938 yards, 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions for the 2-9 49ers.
"I was looking for a good program, and Utah is on the rise," says McCoy, who is already enrolled at Utah. "They're turning things around here. And they do a lot of things on offense that I think I can help with."
The Utes consider themselves lucky to get McCoy. Dan Henson, Utah's quarterback coach, happened to be driving in California to visit a prep recruit when he heard the news on the radio that the 49ers had dropped their program. He drove to Long Beach State early the next morning and looked at film of McCoy.
"When I came out of the film room two hours later, there were 30 coaches there from major colleges," says Henson. "Nine schools wanted Mike. He visited three schools. Wyoming and Oklahoma State wanted him very badly. It's good timing for us. We needed a guy to fill a gap at quarterback (between senior Frank Dolce and freshman Keith McDonald). Mike has started five games of major college ball, and has three years of eligibility left. He's a nice fit. He can come in and immediately play behind Frank. And the nice thing is, he's already here."
What did Henson see on film? "He has a strong arm, a quick release and he's real mobile. I saw him play against Miami, Arizona, Fresno, San Jose and UNLV, and he did a nice job for a first-year guy."
Michael Burke, a defensive back at San Jacinto (Calif.) junior college, said Thursday that he will transfer to the University of Utah next fall.
Burke, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound sophomore from Florida, had four interceptions and 80 tackles for 6-4 San Jacinto last season, despite missing three games with an injury. A free safety at San Jacinto, he says the Utes plan to use him as a cornerback.
NCAA rules forbid college coaches from discussing their recruits until the signing date in February.
Burke, who also was recruited by Cal-Berkeley and Texas A&M, plans to run track for Utah, as well as play football. In high school he long jumped 24-21/2 and ran the 100 in 10.7.