Will McBride's final decision on where he'll suit up for college football won't come on a whim.
The Clear Springs (Texas) High School senior has done his due diligence checking out programs such as Memphis, Southern Methodist, Tennessee, ULL and Utah. Over the weekend, he and his parents took part in official visits to Memphis and then Knoxville.
"Tennessee is obviously a great place, and they've got second-to-none facilities," McBride told InsideTennessee. "The stadium is huge. You can tell the atmosphere for college football here is electric. It's SEC football, so it's big-time. It's a great place."
Fourth-year Tennessee coach Butch Jones and his family welcomed the McBrides into their home.
"It was awesome," McBride said. "We had a really good time, and he really welcomed us into his house. We had a lot of fun. He had a lot of Tennessee stuff all around the house. It's all about Tennessee football here, so it was fun."
The signal-caller said he took down Tennessee freshman wide receiver Marquez Callaway and sophomore offensive lineman Jack Jones in pool while at Butch Jones’ house. However, a personal relationship with members of the Vols roster lacks.
“I recognize a few of the guys, but I don’t really know any of them personally,” he said.
The Vols placed a scholarship offer on the table Thursday.
"Well, they've been interested in me for a long time," McBride said. "When they extended me the offer, I really just kind of soaked up the moment. I felt really blessed. A lot of people would love to be in my shoes right now. My friends are freaking out and stuff over this. It really is an honor because I grew up watching SEC football and anyone can tell you that I was a huge SEC fan since. To have an offer from a school like Tennessee that has a huge fan base and great coaching staff and it's just a great program and really means a lot. It's really exciting.
"We started talking last spring. (Tennessee quality control) coach (Nick) Sheridan would always keep in touch with me throughout the summer and would let me know that they are still in the market. Obviously they had a little weird QB situation. Obviously the timing was a little bit weird and (the offer) kind of came last minute, but it had nothing to do with me being second or third. It was just kind of… They had a guy that was committed and he decommitted and they had another situation that was just kind of messed up. But, they definitely let me know that they want me and they really think highly of me. So, it felt good.”
McBride figures to call the Volunteer State his collegiate home, but will it be Knoxville or Memphis? He committed to Southern Methodist on April 17 before changing to Memphis on June 25. Now he has even more to ponder with the Big Orange knocking on his door.
“It really is tough because Memphis is truly a great place, and I don’t think people really understand how special it is up there,” McBride said. “Obviously a lot of people probably think Tennessee football is on a different level and it’s obviously the SEC and nothing really compares to the SEC, but it’s going to be a tough decision. We’ve got two great coaching staffs, two great programs, and I can definitely see myself at both of them. It has nothing to do with comfort because they’re both really good places and definitely places I can see myself coming to. I’m just going to have to sit down with my parents and weigh the pros and cons and just make the best decision for myself and for my future.”
The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder plans to enroll in college in January. Final word on where that will be should arrive “at least by Friday.”
“We’ll make a decision sometime this week just to give the program that I don’t go to the opportunity to have time to search for another quarterback,” McBride said. “Obviously it really is a tough decision. It’s going to be hard letting one of them know that I’m not coming there.
“It’s just two different situations and I mean with Memphis I feel really comfortable. Me and the coaching staff over there have a really great relationship. Tennessee is obviously just a great place, and I’ve had a relationship with coach Sheridan for awhile. I just kind of met coach Jones and coach (Mike) DeBord. Obviously I’m not going to weigh too much on the fact that it’s been a quick relationship. They’ve shown me a lot of interest and respect and they’ve welcomed me.
“It’s just going to be….It really is going to be a tough decision in terms of letting one of them know that I’m not coming there because they’re both great programs. If I could have two lives, I’d go to Memphis in one life and Tennessee the other. I mean it’s just two different situations. It’s tough.”
In 2015, McBride threw for 2,166 yards with 23 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran for 428 yards and 12 more TDs.