August 22, 2007

McGee set to lead Aggies into 2007 season

Just like the majority of the Big 12 conference, Texas A&M has an incumbent quarterback returning in the starting role with no threat to losing his job. Junior Stephen McGee is back under center after passing for 2,295 yards with 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions and rushing for 666 yards and four touchdowns.

Although the numbers were good and he did it all with an injured throwing arm, McGee's value to the Aggies goes much further than the stats he puts up week to week. McGee is the leader of the team and the quintessential quarterback. He is the heart, the soul and the pulse of the Aggies.

"He's been more than I expected. I knew that we had a good quarterback and a good person and a good leader, but not as good as he is. You hope someday you have one like this," said A&M head coach Dennis Franchione. "He cares about his team. He doesn't care what he does just as long as he wins the game. He's such a catalyst for the rest of this team. He motivates with his style of play let alone with the things he says and does."

A season ago, McGee injured the triceps muscle in his throwing arm and spent August camp going through the motions, just not any that involved him letting loose of the football. All season long it was obvious something was wrong. The arm that earned him 101 passing touchdowns in a fabulous high school career at Burnet was non-existent.

The birth of a new legend in the mold of former A&M great Bucky Richardson, however, was underway.

McGee quickly became feared more for his legs than his arm, and he fit in nicely with a running attack that was already deadly without him. Aggie players and fans alike marveled at the 6-foot-3, 220-pound McGee as he would lower his shoulder to take a hit head on to gain an extra yard or hold onto the pitch a split second longer to spring his running back despite the certainty of a full blown hit from an oncoming linebacker.

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