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It was over three years ago that running back Seven McGee officially committed to the Oregon Ducks. Now, finally with the team as a true freshman, McGee feels at home inside the program after having waited so long to come to the great northwest.
“It’s a blessing,” McGee said after Thursday’s practice. “It’s a blessing for me, it’s a blessing for my family to just be able to come to college and be around Coach Cristobal and this great team. It’s wild. I’ve been waiting 3-4 years, it’s definitely a blessing.”
With such a deep stable of talented running backs around him now at Oregon, there were initial thoughts that McGee might have to bide his time a bit until he finally saw the playing field. However, with second-year freshmen Trey Benson and Sean Dollars missing extended periods of fall camp due to injuries, a spot has opened up in the depth chart.
That’s a spot that McGee is hoping to fill.
While the majority of attention in the backfield is going to be focused on the two-headed monster of CJ Verdell and Travis Dye, don’t be surprised to see McGee turn some heads this coming season. He is a strong runner with a body type that many Oregon fans will have fond memories of. Standing at 5-foot-9 and 181 pounds, McGee looks similar to a DeAnthony Thomas coming out of the backfield.
In fact, it was the legacy left behind Thomas and the 2015 Ducks squad that helped encourage McGee to ultimately choose Oregon. Led by Marcus Mariota, that team defeated Florida State in the Rose Bowl and fell just short to Ohio State in the National Championship game. That had a major impact on McGee’s recruitment.
“If I’m being real, it was DeAnthony Thomas and Marcus Mariota,” McGee said. “At a young age, seeing them play in 2015 against Florida State and making it to the national championship, coming up short, it was big for me. I just wanted to bring the culture and just recreate what they came up short.”
Fans likely won’t remember that game against Ohio State very fondly, but the trip was much greater than the destination, and it had a great effect on players who Oregon was recruiting.
Now, with some of those players finally coming through the program, the Ducks will have a chance to go back and get a little bit of vengeance, starting in Week 2 of the upcoming season when the team travels to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes.
For McGee, a win in the Shoe would be a big step towards picking up where his predecessors left off.