ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For the first time in almost 20 years, an RCSD student-athlete signed to play football at a Power 5 school as Seven McGee signed with the University of Oregon.
“It’s a lot of emotions. A lot of people said I was idiotic for committing so early, so young. But I battled through it. It’s a lot of pain and suffering but the outcome is smiles and joy,” he said.
The East High School standout has been waiting for this day for a long time, verbally committing to the Ducks in 2018. McGee is one of the top recruits in his class, ranked as the #3 all-purpose running back.
“It’s always been my dream ever since I was young,” said McGee on signing with Oregon. “Probably like nine, ten years old. I always wanted to sign with the Ducks.”
The Eagles’ phenom got emotional at his signing ceremony when talking about the journey and how tough it was to get to this point. That’s been a theme for McGee lately.
“I just recently got back from LA. I cried on the plane a little bit. It was hard for me,” he said. “Just thinking about everything that I’ve been through— my family, myself, just thinking about everything. I’m here now. It’s another edge and motivation for me to go harder.”
McGee is the first RCSD football player to sign with a Power 5 school since Jason Colson, who graduated from Edison Tech in 2001. Colson played college football at West Virginia.
“It means a lot just to show that it’s not just ballers on the West Coast. It’s not just ballers down on the East Coast in Florida,” said McGee. “There’s also ballers in New York and Upstate.”
McGee has been waiting for this day for many years. It took even longer to get here after a restless night.
“I actually couldn’t go to sleep. I probably slept two hours,” said McGee. “I was talking to the other commits… it was hard to go to sleep. We all were full of emotion. It’s like, this day is finally here.”
McGee credits his mother, father, sister, and friends to help him to get to this point. He also thanked his high school.
“East was a big part of my success,” he said. “Without East, I don’t think I would be up here.”
The last time McGee played high school football was in 2018 for the Eagles. After his sophomore season, McGee moved to California to enroll in a prep school. After a short stint there — that included a misconduct investigation that involved the prep school’s football coach, principal, assistant principal, and athletic director — McGee returned to Rochester. He was deemed ineligible to play his junior season in 2019 due to a transfer violation.
“Any athlete can tell you the journey is not easy. There are always ups and downs. I lost my brother in 2012, Russell,” said McGee. “Every athlete has his ups and downs in the story. I wish he was here today but one of the reasons I motivated myself so hard is for him.”
McGee will graduate from East this year and enroll at Oregon in June. If there is a high school football season this spring, McGee will not be participating. McGee says the coaches at Oregon left the decision up to him and he will be focusing on getting ready for college.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the last time an RCSD student-athlete committed to a Power 5 school.