Keith McBride: Ready for Impact

Memphis University School's (Tn) Keith McBride was unstoppable in 2009, leading his team to a Division II state championship. And while it's too early to tell if he'll make an immediate impact on the college gridiron, this Navy signee recently sat down with GoMids.com to explain why he picked the Midshipmen over a dozen other Division I schools.

It's not often that freshmen (or plebes, as their known in Annapolis) make an immediate on-field impact at the Naval Academy, but running back Keith McBride could be the exception to the oft-cited rule in 2010. It's not just that McBride held offers from a dozen other Division I schools, or that the six-foot, 210-pound running back also possesses sub 4.5 second 40-yard dash speed; but rather that McBride is the kind of proven game-breaker who rarely signs with a service academy like Navy. A three-star rated prospect by Rivals.com, McBride also won the Tennessee 200-meter state championship in track last season, and was named the 65th best running back in the country by Rivals.com. But McBride's accomplishments aren't limited to the gridiron, as he also carries a 3.7 GPA and posted an ACT score of 26. Recently, GoMids.com caught up with McBride, and got the inside scoop on his recruitment.

GoMids.com (GM): What were your official offers?

Keith McBride (KM): I had offers from Tulane, Duke, Arkansas State, Navy, Army, Austin Peay, Richmond, William and Mary, and several of the Ivy League schools like Princeton and Dartmouth. I was seriously considering Army, Navy, William and Mary, Arkansas St. and Tulane.

GM: Tell us about your official visit to the Academy?

KM: The weekend I went to Navy was the [weekend of January] 15th. It was a great official visit. The coaches were great and so were the players. I just really got a feel for the people and the campus and it was just an overall great experience. My player host was [Navy fullback] Jordan Eddington, the senior. He helped out a lot, but what really helped out was talking to [former Navy slotback] Shun White. He was from Memphis, also, so I talked to him a lot and he helped answer a bunch of questions that I didn't have the chance to have answered on the trip. He helped out a lot.

GM: What was it about Navy which set it apart from the other schools which recruited you?

KM: I'd say that all the schools had good people but at Navy I'd say it was the combination of the people that are there with the strong academics…really I just got a good feeling when I was there, plus, on top of all that, they play really good football. I just felt really comfortable with the system and really good around the people.

GM: Did you get a sense of the Navy ‘brotherhood' on your visit?

KM: Yes sir, I did. Everyone was just really close and it felt like a family. I got a strong sense of that from the coaches, especially my recruiter, coach Ingram.

GM: You've mentioned on several other websites that the role of academics was going to take center stage in your decision. Why are academics so important to you?

KM: My parents really pushed me towards academics when I was younger, and I guess I've really just grown fond of it. Academics are very important to me because you're not going to play sports forever and you're going to need something to fall back on in your life. So academics are very important.

GM: Is there a field of study your particularly interested in at Navy?

KM: Not necessarily. I'm not really sure just yet, although on my visit I talked to some professors in the medicine field about doing pre-med or something like that. But I'm not really too sure yet – I'm looking into multiple options.

GM: You mentioned also having an offer from Army. What was it about Navy which separated the Mids in your mind?

KM: I would mainly say that it was the winning tradition. I had good feelings about Army too, but I would probably say the winning tradition at Navy…I just feel like we're going to do some special things the next four years and beyond…I wanted to go somewhere where we can compete and go to bowl games.

GM: Navy had some big wins in 2009, beating teams like Notre Dame and Missouri. What does it mean to you to have the chance to play a high level of Division I football like that?

KM: It's a great opportunity. I actually did catch both of those games you mentioned – Missouri and Notre Dame. It's just a great opportunity for me. We get to play on the main stage and play against some big-time opponents.

GM: Were you recruited by Air Force at all?

KM: No sir, I was not.

GM: I noticed you played in a primarily one-back set out of the shotgun in high school. How do you feel about the transition to a slotback in Navy's triple option offense?

KM: I feel real good about the transition. At Navy you are asked to do it all; run, block, and catch the ball. I feel that features my strengths very nicely.

GM: You mentioned Shun White earlier. Is he a player you model your game after?

KM: Yes sir, he is a player I've watched and has really helped me so far through this process. I appreciate what he has done for me.

GM: What do you think are your greatest attributes as a ballcarrier?

KM: Probably my cutback ability. I think I have very good vision, and have soft hands as a running back. Also my speed is a big asset in my game.

GM: Have Navy's coaches told you anything about playing time and possibly coming in and making an immediate impact?

KM: Yes sir. The coaches have told me I should be able to come in and compete and be on the field. They said they had very good feelings about my ability to come in and be able to play. That's all I'm looking for. The chance to come in and compete and play with the best.

GM: How about the military commitment at Navy. How do you feel about that aspect of Academy life?

KM: I feel fine about it. I made sure I had all my questions answered about it and really got a good feeling about it from talking to the freshmen and seniors who had been through the Academy. I just got a really good feeling about the military commitment and I am fine with that, so I am good with everything. I am pretty excited.

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