NCAA rushing phenom was almost a Hawkeye

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Someone who has torn college football asunder with his rushing totals was very close to becoming an Iowa Hawkeye.

I'm not talking about Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, though Gordon is fourth in FBS in rushing yards per game and averages an absurd 9.5 yards per carry.

Gordon gave Iowa a non-binding oral commitment in August 2010, but switched to Wisconsin three months later. The Hawkeyes tried to get him to reverse his reversal. That's recruiting.

No, the person I'm referring to here is Octavias McKoy from Stratford, Conn. If you don't know him, it's because he toils in obscurity for Division III Western Connecticut State.

McKoy went from obscurity to fame Saturday when he set the NCAA all-division single-game rushing record with 455 yards on 43 carries against Worcester State in his team's 55-35 victory. That upped his 7-game season-totals to 1,556 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns.

He is averaging 351 rushing yards over the last three games.

McKoy also had planned to accept a scholarship offer from Iowa, all the way back in 2007.

"I've always kind of liked them," McKoy told during his recruitment process. "I like how tough and physical they play. That's my style. I also like their strength and conditioning program and I like the vibe I'm getting from the coaches."

Alas, McKoy didn't qualify academically. That's recruiting, too.

McKoy played defensive back at Garden City (Kan.) Community College in 2008 and at Eastern Arizona College in 2009.

WestConn Associate Athletic Director Scott Ames replied to my email inquiry about what McKoy was doing in 2010 and 2011.

"From what I have been told," Ames wrote, "he was working in the delivery department of Saks Department Store in the Baltimore, MD area.  As the story has been told to me, he was out one night at a local club and met a Baltimore Ravens player and decided that he had to go back to school and play football. Lucky for us."

After he began practicing as a WestConn  junior last year, the coaches quickly shifted him from defensive back to receiver, and then from receiver to running back. They saw they needed to get him the ball a lot. Smart coaches.

WestConn ended a 28-game losing streak last season (McKoy scored the game-winning touchdown in the streak-ender). This year, the Colonials are 5-2.


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