Practice Tour: Josh McKie

MAULDIN, S.C. --- With last year's starting quarterback returning under center – North Carolina pledge Josh McKie – Mauldin High School hopes to put an end to their playoff drought this coming season.

"He can do a lot of things," Shaw said of McKie. "…He knows the offense and is very familiar with it. That's one less worry."

McKie, a 6-foot, 175-pounder, was moved to quarterback prior to his junior season. He responded by passing for 1,300 yards and rushing for 700 yards last season.

"Our quarterbacks are running backs as well," Shaw said. "We do a lot of zone reads and reads off of the traps – we read off of the traps… We don't have a guy that just stands in the pocket and throws the ball or just a guy that can run the ball. Josh does both very well."

Mauldin, though, posted a 2-9 record in 2007. That, as well as McKie's numbers, figures to improve this fall.

In Mauldin's offense, experience at quarterback can be more beneficial than ability. McKie now has both traits.

"We run a lot of zone reads, but we've combined a few different offensive schemes into ours," Shaw said. "We'll go from the spread and occasionally we'll get into a double-wing set – we did that a couple times. But we are a spread team and are in the shotgun [formation] most of the time."

Making a playoff berth so difficult for Mauldin is the amount of competition they face on a weekly basis. The Mavericks' 2008 schedule includes nationally ranked Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes and Roebuck (S.C.) Dorman, which will field as many as three Division I-A-bound players.

"It's very tough [to become playoff eligible]," McKie said. "Every week we come in and we know it's not going to be an easy team to go up against."

With a full year of starting at quarterback under his belt, McKie will be given more control over actual play calls.

"We signal all the plays from the sideline, but – especially being his second year starting – we'll give him the freedom to maybe check some plays. That will be a week-to-week thing depending on who we play and what their defense is."

Normally, Shaw doesn't allow his starting quarterback to do much of anything else. But with McKie's abilities and the emergence of a capable backup quarterback, McKie is more likely to see time on defense and special teams.

"We want to win so we got to get the people on the field that are going to help us," Shaw said. "Josh has played DB, returned punts, returned kicks – he's done all kinds of stuff. And with the way Josh's [little] brother is playing quarterback – he also plays receiver and DB – if something happens and we wanted to move [Josh] just to try this or put him on defense in a third-and-long situation, we don't have a problem doing that."


In-state schools Clemson and South Carolina continue to recruit McKie, in spite of his UNC verbal commitment. McKie says, though, that his pledge is "pretty firm."

"I talk to Coach Williams every week, get letters from him every week," McKie said. "I lost my phone [so we mostly communicate through the mail], but I try to call him whenever I can."

McKie says he "plans to come to as many [UNC home games] as I can." However, like several other UNC recruits, McKie is really looking forward to the UNC-Notre Dame game on October 11.

"It's Notre Dame – it's not everyday you get to see Notre Dame," McKie said. "I think it's going to be a very good game. Coming off the year Notre Dame had I think they're coming back to be better this year."

McKie said he is considering taking his UNC official visit during the weekend of the Notre Dame game. He has to take the SAT before that can happen.

Joshua McKie Profile

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