Runner Relocated

Jeremy McGee was helpless in the fall of 2007. The transfer suffered through every setback, watching from afar and unable to do anything but view the losses pile up to equal nine.

The running back spent his ineligible season due to transfer rules grinding in practice and offering support when possible. It was a tough situation, but McGee isn't new to adversity. It is tragedies that have him at Oxford in the first place.

McGee enjoyed his freshman season in sunny California playing three different positions and returning kicks for UCLA. The football field was kind to McGee, but misfortune off it led to a change of venue.

"I transferred because during my freshman season, my mom passed away," McGee said. "I wanted the chance to get closer to home and support my family."

When McGee's mother, Genell, passed away, the athlete began looking around for possible schools closer to New Orleans. He didn't have to look hard because his best friend was suiting up at Ole Miss.

"A big reason I came here is because my best friend plays here, Kendrick Lewis," McGee noted. "I knew a lot of other guys like Mike Wallace and Coach Frank (Wilson), all the New Orleans guys."

So, McGee relocated from the Pac 10 to the SEC and spent the fall helping with the scout team in Coach Frank's backfield. The shifty, speedy runner showed promise on a daily basis and seemed to think all transition was past him.

It was until November.

The coaching change occurred and days of unknown weighed on the players, but once Houston Nutt was announced, McGee was happy. And who was to expect anything else? McGee has shown nothing but resilience.

"It is different, but I can adapt. Changes come in your life, like I said my mom passed, changes happen, and you just have to adapt to it.

"I can't wait to get on the field and show my talent. Running the ball is the first thing that came to mind (after Nutt was hired). I am looking forward to what we will do offensively with spreading the ball out. I know I can come out of the backfield or even line up at receiver. Whatever happens is fine with me."

McGee just wants to win. It wasn't the coaching switch or the 3,000-mile change in location that affected him. It was the losing.

"Next to my mom passing and the hurricane, that was the toughest thing I have ever been through," McGee said. "Losing week in and week out like that, and then grinding all week at practice before losing another game, it was some hard stuff."

Made even harder by the fact that he couldn't do anything about it.

"I personally felt like I could have helped. Coaches thought I could have helped. It was tough to deal with."

But that is all in the past. McGee now has the opportunity to become a featured back and get settled in. As a Bruin, McGee began at running back before moving to corner and then back to offense as a wide receiver.

The stability of concentrating of one position is a welcome note for McGee. He calls tailback "his passion" and is looking forward to being a runner for Houston Nutt and Derrick Nix.

"He is hungry, and I am hungry too," McGee said of Nix. "We are going to make a good match.

"The guys coming back don't have the experience of Bruce (Hall) and Ben (Green-Ellis), but Cordera (Eason), Derrick (Davis) and myself have the talent to hopefully fill their shoes. It is big shoes to fill. We can take that challenge head on."

But challenges are nothing new for McGee. The ability to conquer them is why he is here today.

Here with one thing on his mind.

"I just want to win. I'm not used to the 3-9 days like last year."

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