Athlete Profile: DeNarius McGhee

Name: DeNarius McGhee
Sport: Football
Position: Quarterback
Hometown: McComb, Miss.
Major: Business Management and Marketing
Minor: Small Business Entrepreneurship
Year in School: Junior in football, senior academically.

What is the best part of playing quarterback?
The best part is the opportunity to lead and prove yourself as a player. Also, the chance to gain respect from opponents and teammates.

When and why did you start playing?
I’ve been playing since fifth grade. Where I grew up, that’s all we did — either played football, basketball or baseball. I fell in love with football first and was the best at it.

What is your favorite thing about football and why?
The atmosphere of the game and the pressure that’s applied on college players, in addition to high school players in Texas. I love being under pressure. It’s also a chance to exude my strengths and improve my weaknesses.

Why did you come to MSU?
I was recruited to play at Division I-AA schools all across the country. But I liked my recruiter Justin Gaines (now at Univ. of North Texas). Everything he told me was the truth. I figured if [Gaines and head coach Rob Ash] were going be loyal to me, I would be loyal to them.

What do you do to prepare before a game?
Throwing the ball and working out are important, but watching film is most important to being a great quarterback.

Do you plan to continue competing in football in the future?
Without a doubt. That’s my dream. I’d like to pursue my football dream first, before business, or my other dream of being an Athletic Director in the NCAA.

What do you think is the key to your success as a student-athlete?
Studying academically and athletically. For football, it’s watching film. Academically, it’s staying on top of schoolwork and learning everything I possibly can from my professors.

Have you received any awards while playing football?
I was a Freshman All-American, FCS National Freshman of the Year, 1st Team All-Conference (2010), 2nd Team All-Conference (2011), Co-MVP Big Sky Conference (2010), and the Robert Tierney Award for community, athletic and school involvement (2011), two-time Big Sky Conference Champions. I have a bunch of awards at my house. These are just the main ones.

Is there a person or quote that inspires you?
My inspiration comes from my family: my dad and uncles, my aunt and my mom. Joe Montana is the greatest quarterback of all time, and got there with hard work and determination. I love Ray Lewis’ drive and commitment to being the greatest linebacker of all time, and his ability to lead guys around him.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to hang out with friends and read inspirational books. I’ve really gotten into that in the last year. Season of Life is my favorite book I’ve read.

What is your favorite class at MSU and why?
My favorite class was Operations Management with Craig Ehlert. You learn valuable information and he’s a great professor.

What would you like to tell students/readers about MSU football?
I’d like to say thank you for the opportunity to play and thanks for my scholarship. I wouldn’t have the opportunities I will have down the road if it weren’t for you.