- Willis McGahee
caption=McGahee in August 2007
birthdate=birth date and age|1981|10|20
Pro Bowlselection (2007)
University of Miami
Willis Andrew McGahee (born
October 20, 1981in Miami, Florida) is an American football running backin the National Football Leaguefor the Baltimore Ravens. He attended the University of Miami.
In college, McGahee broke several records in the 2002 season. He shattered school season records, carrying the ball 282 times for 1,753 yards (6.2 avg.) and 28 touchdowns. Only UCF's Kevin Smith (29 in 2007), Nebraska's
Mike Rozier(29 in 1983) and Oklahoma State's Barry Sanders(37 in 1988) ran for more touchdowns in an NCAA Division I-A season.
McGahee's ten 100-yard performances broke the Hurricanes' season record of eight, set by
Ottis Andersonin 1978; he added 350 yards on 24 receptions (14.6 avg.) that season. He gained 2,108 all-purpose yards, breaking selection.
McGahee was a member of the 2001 University of Miami team, which won the Division I national championship in that year (the fifth such national championship for the University of Miami since 1983, the most of any university in the past 25 years).
In 2002, McGahee, along with Ken Dorsey, Andre Johnson, and others led Miami to an undefeated regular season and a #1 ranking, which included a trip to the National Championship game against second ranked
Ohio State. That year, he rushed for 1,753 yards and 28 touchdowns. He was also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, given to the nation's top player, finishing fourth in the voting (660 votes). Teammate Ken Dorsey finshed 5th behind McGahee 643 votes.
In the early part of the fourth quarter during the
2003 Fiesta BowlNational Championship Game, McGahee suffered an injury after catching a screen pass from Dorsey. He was immediately hit by Buckeye safety Will Allen, causing an ACLtear in his left knee. Prior to getting hurt, he had rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown, as Miami would lose the game in double-overtime, 31–24. This injury required several surgeries and extensive rehabilitation before he would be able to play again. At the season's end, McGahee announced he would not collect on a 2.5 million dollar insurance policy he had taken out before the Championship game, and therefore would enter the 2003 NFL Draft.
At the conclusion of his collegiate career (2001–2002), he rushed for 2,080 yards and 31 touchdowns.
He majored in criminology.
Prior to his knee injury in the
2003 Fiesta Bowl, McGahee was considered "a cinch top-five pick." [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE6DF113AF931A15757C0A9659C8B63&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/People/M/McGahee,%20Willis "NYTimes.com: McGahee Hopes to Allay Concerns Before Draft"] ] Because McGahee's knee injury was still a major concern to professional scouts, the Buffalo Billsdrafted McGahee as the 23rd overall selection of the 2003 NFL Draft. McGahee was only drafted in the 1st round due to the lobbying of his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who campaigned on the fact that McGahee would be healed and ready to suit up for the following season. [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20030729/ai_n12512208 "Agent says RB McGahee 'ready to go'"] ]
McGahee was still recuperating at the time, and eventually made his first professional debut during week six of the
2004 NFL season. He became the team’s starting running back during the season, replacing Travis Henry, who later left to play for the Tennessee Titans. During the season, McGahee rushed for over 1,100 yards, and scored thirteen touchdowns, the fourth most in the league. He rushed for a career high 1,200 yards the following season, but scored fewer touchdowns. In 2006, McGahee did not perform as well in comparison with previous seasons, rushing for nearly 1000 yards with six touchdowns. McGahee also ran into several health concerns during the season, including ailments in his rib cage, ankle, and stomach[ [http://bills.scout.com/2/601507.html "Scout.com: McGahee The Key To Bills Attack"] ] . McGahee has had noticeable stamina problems throughout his NFL career, evident in games in which he would receive many carries or when he rushes for a large amount of yards. McGahee has trouble operating as a feature back by himself because of his lack of endurance. [ [http://www.sportsbooks.com/news/sports_betting/249426.html "McGahee battles through illness"] ]
Following the seasons’ conclusion, the Bills traded him to the
Baltimore Ravensfor third and seventh round picks in the 2007 NFL Draft, and a third round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft[ [http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2791831 "ESPN.com: McGahee traded to Ravens, signs long-term deal] ] .
Before being traded by Buffalo, McGahee made some harsh public comments about the city, and said he would like to see the franchise move to Toronto. These remarks contributed to his trade to the Baltimore Ravens. [ [http://torontosun.com/Sports/Football/2007/01/11/3299449-sun.html?tbd3299449-sun.html "Toronto Sun: What was Willis talkin' about?"] ] Following the trade, McGahee continued to stir bad feelings when he bashed the city of Buffalo in an interview with the
Baltimore Sun. He said, "Coming from Miami, I was used to partying, going out, just having something to do every night. Restaurants, whatever. Going to Buffalo, it was like hitting a brick wall. Like, 'Damn!' Can't go out, can't do nothing. There's an Applebee's, a TGI Friday's, and they just got a Dave & Busters. They got that, and I'm like, 'What the?' And, you know, the women ..." [ [http://www.wgrz.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=46572&provider=top "Parting Shots: McGahee Bashes Buffalo"] ]
McGahee began his tenure with the Ravens in the
2007 NFL season. He has replaced Jamal Lewis, who left the team to play for the Cleveland Browns. He is slated to earn $40.12 million dollars through a seven year contract, making him one of the league's highest paid running backs. In his first season with Baltimore he rushed 1,207 yards. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/08/AR2007030801021.html "WashingtonPost.com: Ravens Acquire McGahee"] ] [ [http://mvn.com/nfl-giants/2007/02/24/reese-eyes-mcgahee/ "MVN.com: Reese Eyes McGahee"] ]
In January 2006, McGahee drew controversy when a woman claimed that he had fathered her children. He has been faced with two other similar lawsuits over a three year span [ [http://bills.aolsportsblog.com/2007/01/09/willis-mcgahee-has-a-thing-for-teachers-but-not-condoms/ "Willis McGahee Has a Thing for Teachers, but not Condoms"] ] . Genetic testing proved that McGahee was the father of both children. [ [http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/category/bills/2007/01/09/willis-mcgahee-has-a-thing-for-teachers-but-not-condoms/ "Willis McGahee Has a Thing for Teachers, but not Condoms"] ] .
He was the winner of the 2008 Madden Bowl. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/02/01/entertainment/e151650S59.DTL "Willis McGahee Wins Madden Bowl"] , SF Chronicle, February 1, 2008.]
Notes and references
* [http://www.willismcgahee.com Willis McGahee Official Web Site] .
*espn nfl|id=6359|name=Willis McGahee.
* [http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/McGaWi00.htm Willis McGahee's NFL statistics at Pro-Football-Reference.com] .
* [http://www.victorypennants.com/mihu20nachfo.html Willis McGahee's Miami Hurricanes 2001 National Champions Football Pennant]
* [http://www.baltimoreravens.com/People/Players/Active/Willis_McGahee.aspx Ravens Player Bio]
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