Will McBride and his family are unpacking boxes, hanging up clothes in the closet and shopping for toiletries.
The quarterback from Clear Springs (Texas) High School is moving to Knoxville this weekend and is set to start his college football career as a Tennessee Volunteer.
“I’m completely excited and just ready to get on with this chapter in my life,” McBride told InsideTennessee. “I have a very positive outlook right now, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m just excited.”
Last season, Tennessee scored more touchdowns (63) than any other team in program history. Gone are stalwarts Joshua Dobbs, Jalen Hurd, Alvin Kamara and Josh Malone. McBride will go to work with Quinten Dormady, Jarrett Guarantano and Sheriron Jones to replace Dobbs at quarterback.
“It’s really exciting,” McBride said. “I think it’s a great opportunity. It’s definitely intriguing that I could be the starter if I’m the best guy. The competition is going to make everyone better because everyone is going to be aiming for that job. It is exciting. I know that there’s a chance that I could be the starter, but you’ve just got to work at it.”
McBride verbally committed to the Volunteers on Dec. 13 believing that Mike DeBord would be Tennessee’s offensive coordinator, however, the veteran assistant coach is off to Indiana. A replacement has not been named as of Sunday.
“It was kind of shocking, but I know things happen,” McBride said. “Tennessee is the school I want to be at regardless of who’s the coach. I’m sure they’ll get a guy in that knows what he’s doing and is a good coach. I’m just thinking positive right now, and I wish coach DeBord the best. So, it’s all good.”
Nick Sheridan was the Tennessee offensive quality control coach that built a relationship with the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder and started selling McBride on life in orange and white. Sheridan, like DeBord, is also leaving the program.
“It’s a little disappointing I guess,” McBride said. “I don’t know. I’m not really upset about it, but I think everything happens for a reason. I’m sure whoever they get in there will be great, and I’ll build a relationship with him. I haven’t really had a huge, close relationship with those guys. I think it’ll be all right.”
The Texan is part of the first group of student-athletes to ever reside in the dormitory next to the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center. McBride has “no idea” who his roommates will be.
Following in the footsteps of well-known Volunteers such as Case Clausen, Deon Grant, Condredge Holloway and Anthony Miller, McBride hopes to wear No. 7.
“If I can be seven, I want to be seven,” he said.