by Malik Vincent
After weighing options for his upcoming collegiate football career, Perry’s Greg McGhee signed a National Letter of Intent with NCAA Division I FCS (formerly I-AA) Howard University last week.
Located in Washington DC, Howard is one of the premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the country.
“When I went down for my visit, it still had the city vibe but it was much more exciting,” McGhee said. “It made me realize that there is a whole other world outside of Pittsburgh.”
McGhee, as a freshman at Perry, started off as the Commodores’ fifth-string quarterback. After a constant effort to improve, the very next season, he was designated as the team’s starter.
“Greg is a competitor no matter what he does,” said Perry’s coach Bill Gallagher. “Whether it’s in the weight room, studying film, or watching his opponents, his will not to loose is what made him a wonderful quarterback.”
In his junior and senior seasons, Perry had what McGhee describes as a “run first and pass never” offense.
But his 24 touchdown passes, compared to only five interceptions this past season, showed how he made himself the best City League passer in over a decade.
Just as he’s done on the field, McGhee has excelled in the classroom. As a result of these efforts, he’ll be afforded the opportunity to be the first in his household to obtain a four-year degree.
“I want to set an example for my little brother,” McGhee said. “I want to show him that hard work pays off.”
His brother DeSean, 14, who is an eighth-grader, is also a left-handed quarterback.
Ted White will be McGhee’s position coach at Howard. A former Bison quarterback, he’s experienced a professional career, which landed him opportunities in both the NFL (Kansas City, Tampa Bay, and Jacksonville), and the Canadian Football League.
“What he reminded me of when I first saw him was (Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback) Michael Vick,” White said. “How he is able to roll to the right, keep his eyes down field, and deliver an accurate ball. It’s amazing.”
In those years in which Perry didn’t do much passing, McGhee proved how he has game-breaking abilities, on the ground.
“I thought he was a great fit for the west coast offense that we are going to be running next year,” White added. “Usually high school quarterbacks are used to sitting back in the shotgun. Be we watched Greg go under center and he was still very effective. He can run and pass. We like that about him.”
Brandon Slade, McGhee’s cousin, was a former player at Perry as well. He attended Howard and is currently practicing law in Washington.
“It will be a good thing for me to be down there with Brandon,” McGhee said. “He will be a great mentor to me and should help me get adjusted with life in that area.”
“His choice to matriculate to Howard shows his maturity,” Gallagher said. “He was looking beyond football. For a guy his age, it is impressive to see him make a decision that involves what he plans to do in his life, in general.”
ALSO: McGhee’s favorite target and 2010 All-City League performer on both offense and defense, Devin Ghafoor, has chosen to accept a football scholarship with NCAA Division II Edinboro University.
Ghafoor was more the possession receiver out of the two split-ends that the Commodores featured in the league’s most effective pass attack in 2010. He had 30-plus receptions for 535 yards in his senior season.
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(Malik Vincent can be reached at email@example.com.)