NFL Hopeful McGee Has Hall of Fame Mentor

By: Damon Dillman Email
By: Damon Dillman Email

Cornerback Darrell Green won a pair of Super Bowls, went to seven Pro Bowls and set five team records in his 20 seasons with the Redskins.

But the first time NFL Draft hopeful Scotty McGee, then a redshirt freshman at James Madison, met Green, the future Pro Football Hall of Famer was just another face on the sideline.

"He walked up to me and said, 'Hey, 19. I like what I see out there. Just keep working hard, you'll be all right,'" McGee said Monday by phone from the airport in Jacksonville, Florida where he's visiting with the NFL's Jaguars this week.

"It was one of my first games as a cornerback, and I had gotten beat deep that game," McGee recalled. "So afterward, I just kind of blew him off."

McGee admitted he didn't know who Green was when a teammate tried to explain, so they did some Internet research.

"And I was like, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe I just did that, to this guy right here,'" McGee said. "I was watching his highlights and I was like, "Wow. I can't believe I just blew this guy off.""

Then, during his senior year at JMU, McGee got a random phone call.

"Out of the blue, he was just like, 'Is this Scotty McGee, the All-American punt returner, kick returner and needs some work at corner,''" repeated McGee.

Green was on the other end.

McGee says Green spent the rest of JMU's football season "coaching me up" by phone while watching game recordings on Tivo. Then, earlier this year, McGee spent several weeks in Orlando working out with Green in preparation for next week's NFL Draft.

This week's visit with Jacksonville is McGee's second with an AFC South team. Two weeks ago, he was in Indianapolis to meet with the conference-champion Colts.

McGee said he felt he was a perfect fit for the Colts' needs.

"They're searching for a punt returner. They're searching for a kick returner, and they're on the market for corners as well," he said. "My attitude is if you can kill birds with one stone."

McGee said he had also spoken with the Steelers in recent weeks, and his agent has had a conversation with a representative from the Patriots.

"With the Colts, they said I could go as early as the third round, and as late as the seventh," said McGee. "It just depends on where things line up.

"I'm truly blessed to have this opportunity, and to have teams actually interested in me," he added. "I feel comfortable with what I can bring to the table at any organization."

The three-day NFL Draft begins April 22.

"It's one of those things, it's really hard to put into words, other than I've been chasing this dream all my life, and it's in hand's reach now," said McGee. "And I'm just going to continue to trust in God, and hopefully get a phone call next week."

McGee says its that faith that helped forge his relationship with Green, who was Washington's first-round pick in the 1983 draft.

"It's just very encouraging to know that someone had the amount of success that he had at the NFL level, and still was able live his life in Christ. He knew what to do with all of his talents and abilities and blessings," McGee said. "I know God placed me with him for a reason, because he has the blueprint of how to do it."


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