Jefferson: Defensive end McCord physically gifted
TAMPA - Jefferson's state football championship team last season may be remembered as one of the best high school football teams assembled in Hillsborough County history. This season, senior defensive end Tyriq McCord wants to make sure this year's team receives the same praise. "Talent-wise, we're going to be OK," he said. "We're going to be good. We just have to have that bond with each other, to be able to say you trust the person next to me." First-year coach Jeremy Earle is so high on McCord, he didn't know where to begin when describing his talents."The first one is his God-given size, strength and speed," he said. "The combination of all three is something that is very rare." "His physical stature is on another level," Earle said. McCord (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) received a four-star rating by Scout.com and is ranked as the No. 22 defensive end in the country. McCord has offers from every major football program in Florida, as well as Southern California, Notre Dame and South Carolina. Last season, McCord led Hillsborough County with 18.5 sacks along with 60 tackles and three forced fumbles as he helped the Dragons take home the Class 3A state championship, the first in school history. This season, McCord wants to reach 29.5 sacks this season, a number achieved by South Carolina incoming freshman and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, the No. 1 senior recruit in the country last year. "He has a plethora of moves," Earle said. "He can go by them or through them. He's faster than most backfields." "I play relentless," McCord said. "I play like my head is on fire."