When Jonathan McGill set off to visit Stanford he didn’t expect to leave the Bay Area with a scholarship offer. But after competing in the June 20 and attending the junior day he got the news in person from defensive backs coach Duane Akina that he earned an offer.
“I still can’t describe it a week later,” he laughed. “I was just speechless, honestly. I was happy, feeling accomplished and just feeling on top of the world.”
What made the feeling even more indescribable was that he received it in person from one of the most accomplished defensive backs coaches in the country. Akina told McGill he sees some of the same qualities in the rising junior from Coppell, Texas, as some of the best defensive backs he’s coached.
McGill described it as an honor to hear that from a coach who developed the University of Texas into arguably the so-called DB-U of college football. And McGill has already experienced a bit of what it’s like to be taught by Akina during the camp.
He described a master class of footwork and tackling drills and improving their ability to make plays on the ball.
“I took knowledge from Stanford and now I’m applying it for my school,” he said.
Once the work part of the trip was done McGill and his family were able to take in the campus and the area around their hotel.
“Probably the highlights were seeing the university and how beautiful it is … the weather is nothing like Texas,” he said. “I got to see the church and seeing how big it was with personally made tiles. That was incredible. My family and I thought that is something you don’t see at any other university.”
Jonathan’s father is Dr. Norris McGill, the senior pastor at Antioch Christian Church in Irving, Texas. His mother, Tonya, is executive pastor of the church.
— Norris McGill (@PastorMcGill) June 23, 2017
It wasn’t just family who watched the camp to support Jonathan. Former Cardinal and current San Francisco 49er Solomon Thomas was a prep star at Coppell High. He and McGill use the same trainer back home, which is where a friendship began between the young man and one of Coppell’s greatest athletes.
After McGill was offered he got a call from Thomas congratulating the rising junior. Thomas urged him to keep his options open and find the best fit. But keep in mind that, “Stanford is the best university in the world.”
McGill is already working in the classroom to make Stanford a possibility. He’s changing his course schedule and, even though he has already taken the ACT once, he plans to take the ACT and SAT “multiple times.”
He may visit Baylor and TCU this summer and he wants to continue the process of building relationships with coaches.
“I want to see which coaches want me more than me going to a university to be another player,” he said. “That’s a big part in recruiting for me.”