The summer edition of Collegian, which is put out by the MSU Alumni Association, has this article on DeNarius McGhee. There isn't a link to it that I could find, so I hand entered it in.
By Carol Schmidt
In ancient Rome, a denarius was a small silver coin, but for Montana State University, a more recent vintage of DeNarius has been pure Bobcat gold.
As fans of Bobcat football know, DeNarius McGhee is the Texas product who last year started as quarterback as a redshirt freshman and threw for 3,163 yards to help lead the team to a 9-3 season and a trip to the playoffs.
During that rookie season McGhee logged so many accomplishments and awards that a full listing would fill this page. Just a few were College National Performance Awards Freshman of the Year, runner-up for the prestigious Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award, Big Sky Conference Offensive Most Valuable Player and Newcomer of the Year, and Walter Payton Award candidate for the best offensive player in the Division I Football Conference (sic (Championship)) Subdivision. This spring his teammates voted him as one of three captains to lead the team in the fall, making him the first sophomore in recent history to earn that honor.
What Bobcat fans might not know is there's more to him than just football, McGhee said. For instance, he suspects most people don't know that the most important thing in his life is his relationship with God. He likes to think of himself as well-rounded, and values and excels at academics. He is an honor roll student majoring in business management who has a 3.69 GPA.
So it is not surprising that he is also a student of the game of football, spending countless hours studying films of opponents in addition to disciplined and strenuous workouts during the off-season.
"I want to put myself in the best position to be successful," he says. "You need to know what you and your team can do."
Fans also might be surprised that he thinks of himself as a better leader rather than an athlete.
“Well, leadership and throwing the ball,” he says, quickly correcting himself. “Being an athlete is pretty much a given (in college athletics). And athletic ability is God-given. Leadership is more of a challenge, a choice you have to make.” He said he relishes the challenge of leading in pressure situations.
“I want to be there at crunch time,” he said.
This deep well of conviction, unusual in one who just turned 20, is rooted in his upbringing and the love and support of those who raised him, he said.
Born in McComb, Miss., to Ella Mae McGhee and Michael Gause, he was raised by his grandmother and his aunt until he was 9 and then went to live with his mother. When he was 13, his mother sent him to live with his father in Euless, Texas.
“My mother knew that she couldn’t teach me how to be a man,” he says, with pride apparent in his voice. “So she sent me to my father to raise me.”
He says his father, who works in the sheriff’s department in Fort Worth, Texas, is his hero.
“He taught me everything I know. He stayed strong and led me and molded me into the person I am,” McGhee said.
He said his father taught him to prepare to work hard, to shake hands with a firm grip (“You can tell a lot about a person by the way they shake hands,” he says), to honor his commitments, learn from his mistakes and that tough times are what builds character.
His father’s apartment in Euless was the ticket for McGhee to play at the storied Euless Trinity High School, one of the top high school programs in the country. Trinity was ranked number one in the country by Sports Illustrated McGhee’s senior year. His high school record was 28-3 during his three years as quarterback, and includes one Texas 5A championship.
Several members of McGhee’s high school class are playing at some of the top football programs in the country, including Eryon Barnett, who McGhee’s father took in his senior year, who is projected to start this year at the University of Texas. McGhee got a look by those programs, and if he were three inches taller, (He’s listed as 6’0”) he might have been at one of those programs today. In the end, he chose between MSU and Air Force. He said he knew from the first cold January weekend he stepped on campus that MSU was his future.
“The people here were extremely nice,” he said. “I felt at home.” He also saw potential at MSU.
“I knew that if we would win, we would sell out every game,” he said.
Bobcat fans will be happy to know that McGhee predicts continued success for the Bobcats. He has confidence in his coaches and the men he plays with. It is those people, he said, that he values the most. He knows the when he looks back at his college years, after goals of playing in the NFL or CFL, then a career as a coach leading to a position as an athletic director, those men will mean more to him than any list of awards.
“What we have going on here (at MSU) is pretty special,” he said. “I am playing with some great guys…I can’t imagine playing with (any) other team or group of guys. It is the relationship with those guys that will last a lifetime.”