Long Trek to Mizzou Pays of for McGaffie
"Let me get ready. We're going to go ahead and make this trip," Brenda McGaffie told her son, a 5-foot-11 wide receiver who'd received an MU offer after an impressive performance at a TCU combine in April
"We can't afford to wait."
So mother and son packed some things and jumped into the car for the 14-hour drive from Galena, Tx., to mid-Missouri. The result was as good as they could have possibly imagined – they fell in love with the MU campus and football program, and Gahn (pronounced ‘John) sealed his future by committing to play for Mizzou.
"I just wanted to go see the facilities, but I had already made my mind up," Gahn said, citing the way the coaches described how they'd use him in their wide-open offense as the primary reason for his quick decision.
Once they got to town, though, they realized there was a lot more to like than simply Xs and Os.
"I didn't know what to expect, but when I got there, I was shocked," Gahn said, "because [MU campus] was so nice."
"And the facilities were top notch."
The coaches made a strong impression as well.
"Every coach there seemed very excited about what they do, and that let me know they love what they do and are committed to excellence," Brenda McGaffie said by mobile phone and she and Gahn traveled back to Texas. "Everything happens for a reason, and we did the process of elimination, and Missouri was the school."
McGaffie, who has an older brother who played college ball in Missouri at Southwest Baptist, is an excellent athlete. He started on a 10-0 varsity team as a freshman, was moved to quarterback for the past two years, and posted more than 1,500 yards passing, 900 yards rushing, 21 total touchdowns and just three interceptions last year. He's also a standout basketball player.
He's an outstanding athlete," Galena Park coach Ray Zepeda said. "He's very strong, but his explsiveness and speed out of his cuts is what's outstanding … We've clocked him between 4.4 [seconds] and low 4.5."
McGaffie now is shifting back to his natural position. Though he showed great playmaking ability under center, his height meant his ticket to Division I would be punched as a wideout.
McGaffie, who had offers from Kansas State, Houston, Baylor and North Texas along with interest from Nebraska and Oklahoma State, will be a slot receiver at MU. He could be the first of a few players from the Houston area to commit to play for Mizzou; Stratford defensive tackle Jimmy Burge has said he's 85 percent sure he'll choose the Tigers.
Nebraska offered McGaffie a scholarship last fall before calling to tell them another player with a similar skillset to his had committed .
It is what it is. I think that's part of recruiting, and John and his family knew that," Galena Park coach Ray Zepeda said. "It's a win-win for both sides, John and Missouri. I think Missouri is an excellent program and coach Pinkel is doing a great job, and they've created the kind of atmosphere for their players that John was looking for."
"In John, Missouri is getting a great athlete, but an even better person, a great character kid."
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