McGue commits after "amazing" experience

After seeing the Black Knights perform in-person Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Malik McGue went back home to Johnson City, Tenn. and thought about what he witnessed. Sunday evening, he placed a call to his recruiter, Sean Saturnio, letting him know he was ready to become a part of Army football. He spoke to on how the commitment came about.

"It was pretty sweet," McGue said of his game experience. "It was way better than I even thought it would be, just an amazing atmosphere to be in. Army was my number one school before I went, but I think it was the experience I had this past weekend that let me I was ready to commit and be a part of what they have going on up there.

"About a month and a half ago, I first started talking with Coach Saturnio. He told me everything there is to know about Army, the football program and who he was. That night, he went ahead and offered me. At first I wasn't that intrigued because I didn't know a much at all about it. That quickly changed after I started talking to a bunch of people who had gone through it, some the service and some West Point. They kind of let me know exactly what it was all about and what I'd be getting myself into if I were to go that route. The more I learned about it, the more intrigued I became.

"I sat down and compared all of the other opportunities for college I had and none of them even came close to West Point as far as the education, setting yourself up for the future, and strength of the football program. I called Coach Saturnio around six o'clock Sunday evening and told him I wanted to commit. I'm so glad I did. A big weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I was presented with an opportunity that's very rare for most people to be given and I've chosen to pursue it. It's a such blessing and I'm so excited for what the future has in store for me."

McGue, 5-foot-8, 165-pounds, was a four-year starter at Science Hill High School. He began his playing career at wide receiver but was moved to quarterback at the start of his junior season. In his senior year, he threw for 2300 yards and rushed for 1100 to led the Hilltoppers to an 11-2 record and to the Class 6A quarterfinals.

"This was one of our best seasons historically so I consider it a a huge personal success," he said. "We beat our rival, Dobyns-Bennett, that had an 19 game winning streak on us two times, once in the regular season and once again in the playoffs, we also went further in the playoffs than we had in 20 years.

"From an individual standpoint, I became more of a leader, first of all. At quarterback, I improved on my ability to read defenses and my arm strength. I think I had some people doubting my ability to really throw the ball after my junior season, and I went out and proved them all wrong.

"Army would like me to play slotback in their veer formation, but they said they'll give me a chance at quarterback. They primarily see me as a playmaker. They said they want someone who can come in and spark their offense with big-play ability and think I can fill that role with my quickness and athleticism."

McGue was named Player of the Year in his conference, a Mr. Football finalist, and will find out Thursday if he was named Player of the Year for the Northeast Tennessee/Southwest Virginia region. The night before the Army-Navy game, McGue represented the East in the 8th annual Toyota East-West All-Star Classic Tucker Stadium in Cookeville, Tenn. He selected Army over offers from ETSU, Chattanooga, Tennessee State, Murray State, and Austin Peay State. Top Stories