National signing day is a day of celebration, the culmination of years of hard work being rewarded by inking that letter of intent.
No doubt Oklahoma City Heritage Hall quarterback Connor McGinnis deserved that moment. Such a vital piece to the puzzle in leading the Chargers to a 14-1 record and state championship, McGinnis was clearly one of the better all-around talents in the state last year.
But as players across the state made it official last month, all McGinnis could do was sit and watch and wonder if his day would come.
“I’d be lying to say I wasn’t disappointed,” McGinnis said. “It was a little gut-check for me, for sure. I want to go out and prove people wrong.”
McGinnis wasn’t an unknown and was at Oklahoma’s summer camp and received a lot of one-on-one attention from then-OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel. McGinnis clearly had Division I talent, but there were questions about whether it would be as a quarterback or defensive back.
Once Heupel was relieved of his duties, however, there was no telling if the OU door had been closed with Lincoln Riley taking over.
McGinnis’ father was able to get in touch with Riley and just asked him to take a look – nothing more. That look turned into a visit and that visit turned into McGinnis accepting a preferred walk-on position at OU.
“I really like him,” McGinnis said. “He seems like a real players’ coach. It’s going to be awesome to play for him.”
McGinnis completed 113 of 202 passes for 1,923 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed 164 times for 1,366 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Those numbers felt like it would be enough to gain some offers, but McGinnis said his only offers were from the summer before from Central Oklahoma and Emporia State.
McGinnis took the road not taken often with recruiting. Instead of hitting camps in the spring and summer, he was on mission trips. A star in soccer as well, McGinnis never flirted with a soccer scholarship because he didn’t do the camp circuit there as well.
It was a long journey, but it was worth it for McGinnis who has found his home in Norman.
“There was a time when I was wondering if that door had closed, but I’m really excited to see how this has ended. All I can do is press forward.”
It’s not the most conventional way for things to happen, but as it turns out, McGinnis is OU’s quarterback for the 2015 class.