ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Twenty-seven years ago, long before Mike McCoy and Terrell Davis took the NFL by storm in varying ways, the two were in the same freshman class at California State University, Long Beach.
In 1990, both Davis and McCoy redshirted, but the pair was on the field together the following year.
McCoy started five games that season, and he completed 87 of 165 passes for 938 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions.
Davis earned playing time, too, as he ran for 262 yards and two touchdowns as a redshirt freshman.
The pair would've been poised to play together for the considerable future, but Long Beach State shuttered its football program after that season.
Davis took off for Georgia and McCoy left for Utah. Each would put together a successful college career, and they were poised for success in the NFL. Davis, of course, went on to a Hall of Fame career, while McCoy quickly rose up the coaching ranks.
When the two were reunited Wednesday at UCHealth Training Center, they laughed in response to questions about their time together.
"They're undefeated since then," McCoy said laughing. "Long Beach State hasn't lost a game since then. In the freshman game, Harvey Hyde, who was the running backs coach, knew what he was doing. We went through the freshman game and every ball was being tossed to 'T.D.'
"We finally throw the ball X-number of plays into the [line of] scrimmage, and it's a play design for T.D. again. Finally, I looked at Harvey and asked if we could throw the ball or run the ball with somebody else, and he said, 'Why? He's the best player on the field.'
Davis was jokingly asked whether McCoy's limitations at quarterback set him up for his Hall of Fame career.
"Yes," Davis chuckled. "Mike threw me a couple. I think he threw me a few touchdown passes. I think I made him look good on a few. I think I caught a slant from him. Maybe a post against UNLV?"
Indeed, one of Davis' most-notable receptions was a 78-yard touchdown against the Rebels.
But despite the light-hearted subject matter, both took a moment to be serious about what their former teammate had accomplished.
"I am not surprised," said Davis of McCoy's success. "There are certain people that you can kind of tell when you play with them, and their demeanor, their makeup, you're like, 'OK, I can see this guy being a coach.' I'm glad he's back. I'm glad he's back with us."
Added McCoy about Davis: "What a great accomplishment and honor for [Davis], and he's an even better human being."