When preparation meets opportunity, some say, that’s luck.
Codey McElroy calls that life.
After graduating from Chattanooga High School he played baseball for five years, competing in college and the minors.
Then there was a season with OSU basketball.
Following that Codey tried coaching.
Looking for stability the 25 year old enrolled at Southeastern Oklahoma State last fall, and took aim at a career in oil.
For the first time he was a normal college kid, which led to being bored.
“I’d always played sports in college, and now I had all this free time,” McElroy said. “Now I know what these regular students talk about when they say they have free time. I didn’t know what to do, so I decided to go out for football. Four days later we had our first game, and the next week I scored my first touchdown. The rest is kind of history.”
Cody caught on quickly.
After eleven days, and his second game since middle school, a scout said, he had pro potential.
McElroy kept his football future quiet, so when he signed with the Los Angeles Rams it amazed everyone.
“I didn’t really tell anybody that the NFL thing was happening, I didn’t really tell anybody that the scouts were calling, that I had these workouts and things like that,” McElroy said. “So when I signed I think it really kind of shocked everybody, and surprised them. They’ve all been very supportive. I’ve got text messages from people back home, and people I haven’t talked to in years saying they’re rooting for me.”
Physical play’s nothing new to McElroy, but the physicality in football was new.
“Everybody’s physical in football, everybody’s big, everybody’s strong and everybody knows how to hit,” McElroy said. “It’s definitely different though. I would say, the next day you wake up you definitely know that you weren’t playing baseball or basketball. It’s a different beast when it comes to soreness.”
Multiple NFL teams took notice of Codey’s career change, so if the Rams turn their attention elsewhere it won’t slow him down.
“Football’s a crazy game,” McElroy said. “A lot of people bounce around a lot, which is something I’m used to. I know this is what I want to do, and I think I can do this for a long time at a high level. I’m going to do whatever it takes, and try to play this game as long as I can.”
In an age when kids choosing to pursue a single sports seems to be a growing trend McElroy’s the ultimate example of keeping your options open both on the field and in life.
The three sport standout credits his success to his small town Oklahoma roots, and the support of his friends and family.
“Sports was life to us,” McElroy said. “When people would ask, when I was younger, what my favorite sport was? I never knew. Depending on what season it was that was kind of my favorite sport. That up-bringing has kind of paved the way for me to be able to do what I’ve done. Regardless of the sport I just know how to get out there, compete and have fun with it. I do credit that to my hometown of Frederick, Oklahoma. Those were the guys that really helped me become the athlete, and the competitor that I have.”
In Edmond, Nate Feken, News Four Sports.