May 21, 2008

McGee not shy about NFL dreams

Lauderhill (Fla.) Plantation high school athlete Brandon McGee created a buzz in a recent interview when he was quoted in a Rivals.com update saying "winning national championships and winning bowl games is all fine and dandy, but at the end of the day it really doesn't put food in your mouth." Those were bold but honest words from the 5-foot-11, 186-pound athlete who projects to play cornerback at the next level.

That doesn't mean that the four star athlete is going to be excluding any programs just because of on the field success or anything along those lines. Early playing time means a lot to McGee but it might not be the only thing when it all comes down to it.

McGee currently is sitting at 31 offers and has received offers from most of the heavy hitters of college football though he did admit that he would like to hear from Oklahoma and Virginia Tech during this process. One school that has made a big impression early in his recruitment has been the Buckeyes. Despite not claiming any leaders the Bucks have separated themselves in a group of "standout" schools.

"(Things) are still wide open but Ohio State is one of those standout schools on my list," McGee said. "I can say that for sure. Even when I went up there on my visit I had a great time and I enjoyed myself so they are a standout school for sure."

McGee joined a handful of Florida players who made the trip north to take in Columbus for the Ohio State spring game. What is it that really made the Buckeyes stand out?

"I would have to say just the people there," McGee said. "The coaching staff and the players… I just definitely felt comfortable around the people and meeting with all the coaches and everything, I felt comfortable. That is kind of what stood out to me when I was there."

With teammate Vladimir Emilien and good friend Jaamal Berry both looking closely at the Buckeyes does that play into the hands of the Buckeyes on landing the whole group?

"It definitely plays a factor being that all of us have even talked about playing on the same football team in college and playing at the same college one day," McGee said. "There definitely is a chance of that being at Ohio State with them coming at us pretty hard."

Ohio State has not been a stranger when it comes to recruiting in the state of Florida and in recent seasons the Buckeyes have picked off some heavy hitters from the Sunshine state. Does McGee talk to any current or future Buckeyes at this point?

"I know Michael Brewster pretty well and I know DeVier Posey, Etienne Sabino and I met Terrelle Pryor as well," McGee said. "So I definitely know some of these guys pretty well."

And what are the current Bucks telling a prospective Buck?

"Brewster has been getting in my ear but he always has said that I have to do what is best for me but he would love to see my playing at Ohio State," McGee said.

Is there any secret to Ohio State's success in the state of Florida?

"In my opinion being that they came to Florida and got one of the best athletes that I ever have seen play the game in Chris Gamble that is what stood out to me because Gamble is one of my favorite Buckeyes to ever play the game," McGee said. "So being that he is from the same neighborhood that I am from and the same hometown and from a school right around the corner from me I got to watch him play in high school. Then having him doing the same thing at Ohio State was definitely a trigger that went off in my mind."

Does McGee see any similarities in his style of play to the style of play of one of his role models?

"I definitely thing we are very different in our styles and I think he has his own style and I have my own," McGee said.

With McGee not seeing the two playing similar styles who does he see himself modeling his game after?

"I would have to say Asante Samuel," McGee said. "Watching (Samuel) play cornerback and being that he played quarterback in high school just like me and my situation so I definitely watch him at the next level and I mold my game around his."

The Ohio State coaching staff has logged some frequent flier miles in the state of Florida and coach Taver Johnson has spent time staying in touch with McGee. What has the Ohio State cornerback coach been saying to the Rivals250 star?

"He has just been talking to me about fitting into their system and how they want me to be there and be a Buckeye," McGee said. "Also that I have a chance to make an impact early and that would be a major factor in my decision with the ability to come in and get some early playing time."

Any chance that McGee might have the opportunity to play on both sides of the ball just like Chris Gamble before him?

"I talked with coach Johnson and even coach Tressel about going in and being able to play on both sides of the ball," McGee said. "He said that it was something that they are open to and I know they are because of player that played in the past. It all falls back on me and how I handle the situation."

McGee has flirted with the idea of being a December graduate and enrolling early at his college destination. Is that still in the plans?

"I was thinking about doing the early graduation thing but I am still kind of undecided at the moment," McGee said. "I can if I want to but right now I am kind of leaning toward staying in high school."

Brandon has no intentions on ending his recruitment early and this one could take a while.

"I think depending on how my visits go and if I take enough visits maybe I could make decision early but if not I might have to wait it out until signing day," McGee said.

With more than 30 schools in on him is there any sort of timetable to at least trim the list down in the near future?

"I am actually kind of thinking of a list with my coach," McGee said. "I kind of made some up (Tuesday) but I am not quite sure about it yet."


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