Semper Fi: Shaun McGee

Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood defensive end Shaun McGee is hard at working preparing to replace Georgia's standout linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree.

FULLERTON, Calif. – The confetti had barely settled on Georgia's win in the Capital One Bowl when junior inside linebacker Alec Ogletree declared for the NFL draft. Junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones could do the same shortly.

On the other side of the country, Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood defensive end Shaun McGee was already preparing to fill their sizable shoes.

"It didn't hit me until I went on my official and saw the depth chart and everything that they had going on, but I'm approaching it more than I approached getting into my junior year and starting in high school," McGee said following Semper Fi Bowl practice Wednesday at Fullerton College.

That includes working out "10 times harder," with extra time in the weight room and additional film study, focusing on the All-America pass rush specialist McGee hopes to succeed.

"I hear everybody compare me to Jarvis or say I'm going to be the next Jarvis Jones and stuff like that, so I watch his tape to see what he does that maybe I can add to my game so I can be as good as him if not better," McGee said.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has told McGee he will be learning all four linebacker positions in his 3-4 alignment with the intention of deploying the 6-foot-3, 238-pounder all over the field.

The goal, McGee said, will be continuing the success of Jones, Ogletree, and the rest of the defense, while going one step further.

"In the talks that I had with the coaches, with all the guys they have leaving, it's up to the Class of 2013 to come in and pretty much keep the legacy that Jarvis and (safety Baccari) Rambo and (safety) Shawn (Williams) and all those guys left behind," McGee said.

"It's just basically on us to come in with that attitude to make sure we still have one of the best defenses in the country and win a national championship in the next couple years. That's our goal.

"It's up to us to come in and get it done because this class is going to be making up almost half the team next year when we come in."

Right now, McGee is using the Semper Fi Bowl as a good intermediate step between high school and the college game, going against an East team featuring three offensive linemen committed to future SEC foes Tennessee and South Carolina in practice this week.

"The game is a lot faster," McGee said. "It's getting me ready for school, seeing the type of people I'll be going up against. I like the challenge."

During the game Friday evening, McGee hopes his play will belie his modest three-star status.

"I've always been the one that has been kind of overlooked or underrated. It doesn't matter how many stars you have, it's about what you do between the white lines," McGee said.

"I'll just go out there, give 100 percent, and show what I can do. That's all I can promise."

Dan Greenspan writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.


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