How exactly did it feel for the Ohio State linebacker commit to miss most of the final quarter as his Cleveland St. Ignatius team tried desperately to battle back from a 13-7 deficit during the 2009 lid-lifter Saturday night against city rival Glenville?
"It sucked," he said, shaking his head and cutting off the query. "But to come out with the victory is awesome."
Even with its best player on the bench, St. Ignatius was able to power back for the win, getting a 16-yard touchdown pass from Mark Myers to Kory Gillissie on a fourth-down play and a Jesse Franklin extra point with 2:06 remaining to earn a 14-13 win against the Tarblooders.
Before that score, the only St. Ignatius touchdown had come, for once, from McVey. Though the 6-1, 217-pounder has committed to Ohio State's class of 2010 as a linebacker – where he's ranked as Scout's No. 4 Mike in his class – McVey fulfilled a number of roles for the Wildcats on a chilly night in front of a packed house at Parma's Byers Field.
He had played fullback before, but his increased chances to see the ball were a new part of the Ignatius attack.
McVey made the most of it, sneaking out of the backfield on a fourth-down play from the 1 on the team's first drive of the year and snagging a pass in the right flat from Myers that gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.
"That was fun," he said. "They finally gave me a little bone, gave me a touchdown. Going both ways, it was definitely a fun experience, being on both sides of the ball. It's two different energies, two different types of players, so it was great."
The four-star prospect also saw some time lining up as a down defensive end in passing situations. That caused plenty of havoc in the first half on one occasion when he pushed the Glenville tackle out of the way and bore down on quarterback Cardale Jones, who was hurried into a poor throw that Ignatius intercepted.
"I like getting down in a three-point stance," McVey said. "It just gives me more explosion."
Of his new roles in total, he said, "I'm trying to bring some leadership on the team, doing what I can to contribute and get us back to another state title."
McVey stood out as a linebacker last year, earning Scout championship weekend MVP honors for making 12 tackles, five sacks and an interception in the Wildcats' Division I title-game win against Cincinnati Elder.
Again McVey showed off his prowess as the Wildcats middle linebacker on Saturday, making nine tackles and getting in on a sack. He again showed the ability to get off blocks and get to the ball that has made him the No. 103 player overall in the class.
He made an impact even on the play he was injured. With 10:28 left in the game, McVey forced Glenville's Christian Bryant into a near interception, but during the course of the pressure his shoulder popped out of the socket and then went back in.
McVey was down for a few minutes before going to the sideline. After his gear was gingerly removed, McVey had his right shoulder iced, and he started to get the look on the sidelines of somebody who wished he could be in the game.
"Oh, I'm back (next week)," he said after the game of his injury. "It feels fine. I feel I could have come back in."
Instead, his defensive teammates had to make a play, and that they did. The Wildcats pushed Glenville deep into its own territory, giving the Ignatius offense great field position after Jones, the team's back-up punter, mishit his boot with the injured Bryant on the bench.
"I was definitely proud of them," McVey said of his fellow defenders. "They all stepped up. There's a lot of inexperienced guys out there. They all stepped up and made huge plays and we came out with the victory. It was really good for them."
The Wildcats will continue to play a tough schedule that resumes Saturday night with another home contest against Clayton Northmont. Many of St. Ignatius' games – including one on Sept. 12, the night Ohio State takes on USC – are on Saturday evenings, making McVey unsure if he'll be able to attend many Buckeye contests this year.
He also added that he hasn't been given any directives on how to improve his game by the OSU coaching staff even though he's being utilized in a number of roles this year.
"They just want me to concentrate on my high school season and get through this year, and they'll tell me what to do from there," he said.