December 13, 2012

McGee fired up

Many have become familiar with Brookwood linebacker Shaun McGee's story.

The three-star defender didn't hold many major offers going in to the summer before his senior year, but seemed to impress every coach that saw him as he earned offers from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia as he attended camps at each school.

McGee eventually chose Georgia over Alabama as the summer drew to a close, and has remained solid since.

Last weekend McGee, along with a number of other Georgia pledges, took his official visit to UGA, and although he has visited the campus many times, he still got to experience a few new things.

"It went really well. I had a good time," said McGee. "To start with, we had dinner at a really nice place, and then we went to have dessert at Coach (Mark) Richt's house. It was my first time being at his house and meeting his family and stuff, so that was cool. Then Saturday we had the Gala banquet, and that was really nice. I hung out with a couple of the players and had a really good time."

A relative few get to see the annual Senior Gala, but uncommitted and committed recruits always seem to have great things to say about what goes on at the event.

According to McGee, watching the coaches reward the players has a strong motivational element.

"Basically it is being able to see what you have to look forward to," he said. "The awards that the different guys get and all. It isn't just seniors that get awards, a lot of guys get individual awards and that is really cool. They give out like an award for the most improved player or like the most outstanding performance by a freshman and, of course Todd (Gurley) got that. It tells you what you have to look forward to and just gives you something else to strive for when you get on campus."

On Wednesday, Warren Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) linebacker and Georgia commitment Tim Kimbrough told UGASports that one of the recruits he has gotten to know the most in the 2013 cycle is McGee.

The Brookwood standout says that the two linebackers have formed quite the bond since participating at Dawg Night together this summer.

"Actually, I think me and Tim are kind of alike, and I was joking about it with him this weekend - we're the Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall of the defense," said McGee "I have a really good relationship with him. The night that they (UGA) offered me, he is the only guy that I did all my drills with. Me and him basically worked together the whole night at Dawg Night. We did all of our position drills together and all of our 7-on-7 drills together. Really, nobody could do anything on us, so from the start we were like a great team. This past weekend, I spent pretty much most of my time with him. Whether it was in the tours or when we went out, I spent most of my time with him. His mom and my mom developed a pretty close relationship. He is probably going to end up being my roommate. I'm really excited about it."

On a prospect's official visit, it is often a good time for the player to spend as much time as possible with his future position coach.

McGee spent a great deal of time with his future position coach on his official visit to the Classic City, and learned where Georgia plans on using him once he reaches campus in June.

Where the versatile linebacker will begin his college career may surprise some.

"I didn't get to spend time with Coach Richt. Nobody did actually because he came down with the flu. I talked to Coach (Todd) Grantham a little bit, but I spent most of my time with my position coach, Coach O (Kirk Olivadotti)," said McGee. "Basically he told me that they see me starting off on the inside and working at the outside. He said he wants me to learn all four positions and to see the field as early as possible. He said in situations they would want to move me around because he wants to put people in there to do what they are best at. He said I may end up moving to the outside, but we talked mostly about how I what I would do when I get there. Basically they would use me in certain situations on the inside, but in second or third and long, they might move me to the outside and things like that."

Up next for McGee is the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl that is to be played on January 4 in Carson, California (9 p.m. EST) and televised by the NFL Network.

As someone who has a connection to the United States Marines, McGee sees this as more than just an opportunity to play against great competition or impress scouts.

"I'm really excited about this game," he said. "I think a lot of people know the story that my father is a Marine, so I'm taking this game to another level. It means a lot more to my family than just being a game because of my family's involvement with the room. I've pretty much been working out and staying in shape. I didn't want to get out of the season and give it too long, so I rested for like a week then got back in the gym. I've been trying to make sure my ankle is ok, so before I work out I've been doing physical therapy and getting it ready. I just want to get out there and help my team."

Before his trip to Athens this weekend, the Snellville native also thought he was as excited as he could be about his future as a Bulldog.

As it turns out, his official visit created much more enthusiasm about his future than he previously had.

"I'm really excited. I don't think I realized it until I went to Athens this weekend," said McGee. "Before, I was really excited about it, but getting down there and spending time with the team, spending time with the coaches, and spending time with the guys that will be my brothers for the next few years was great. In talking with the guys in this class, we are hungry. Like half of this team is going to be made up of freshman and underclassmen. So basically, it is up to us coming in this year with how the team is going to perform and how the team is going to be. We have to step up. We talked about that a lot when we were sitting around and talking. The guys before us set that attitude and they set the standard with how they played defense and how they won the SEC East two straight years. We know we have to step up."

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