Sports

A painful way for McGahee to end career

Miami’s bid for another run at the national championship next year will come without two of its top playmakers, both of whom decided to bolt to the NFL.
Junior wide receiver Andre Johnson’s departure had been expected. But sophomore tailback Willis McGahee’s decision came as a surprise.
McGahee, a Heisman trophy finalist who set school records with 1,753 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns, seemed destined to return to the ‘Canes next season after tearing two ligaments in his knee in the Fiesta Bowl. He also was named first team All-American and a finalist for the Doak Walker Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.
But McGahee chose to take his chances in the NFL by announcing to CBS-4 on Monday that he has opted to forgo his final two years of eligibility at UM.
“It was something I prayed on and something I discussed with my family,” McGahee told CBS-4. “I feel I can go up to the next level and give it my best I was told I can make a 100 percent recovery and that’s what I am planning on doing. It was my childhood dream and I am going to fulfill my dream.”
McGahee suffered the injury with only 10 minutes remaining in the Fiesta Bowl. After catching a screen pass from Ken Dorsey, McGahee turned up field before he was tackled by Ohio State cornerback Will Allen.
McGahee underwent surgery the following day at Health South Doctors Hospital where doctors repaired his torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and gave him a positive prognosis.
But McGahee, once projected to go as high as the first round before his injury and command big money, now looks to a long rehabilitation. It is most likely that he will be placed on injured reserve for his first year in the pros – lowering his draft prospects — and salary — considerably.
There is no question that McGahee’s injury has cost him millions of dollars in the immediate future. And while it is uncertain he will ever be the same football payer he was before the injury, he is still expected to go somewhere in the mid-rounds of the draft when pro teams who have an extra pick to spare may choose to take a chance on him.
If he is unable to return to football however, McGahee is poised to collect $2.5 million from an insurance policy he took out before the Fiesta Bowl game. The policy states that if McGahee is unable to play football again he can collect the money one year from the date of injury (Jan. 3). He is allowed to play in three pro games before the policy becomes void.
Johnson’s decision to turn pro was expected even before the season began. During his three years at Miami, he has emerged as a premiere receiver in college football. This season he caught 52 passes for 1,092 yards and nine touchdowns. In last year’s Rose Bowl, Johnson shared MVP honors with quarterback Ken Dorsey after catching seven balls for 199 yards and two touchdowns – all career bests.
At 6’3, 227 pounds, Johnson fits the mold of a prototypical NFL receiver. With Michigan State’s Charles Rogers expected to be the first receiver taken in the draft, Johnson could go second or third. But he is still expected to be a first round choice.

Jordan Rodack can be reached at j.rodack@umiami.edu.

January 17, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes are running low on tight ends. But their receivers — notably sophomore speedste ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ The pretty even split of carries between Travis Homer ...

The University of Miami has lost another player to surgery, and the depth was already lacking at thi ...

A six-pack of UM notes on a Monday: ▪ There has been no more popular or successful quarterback at UM ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ defense leads the nation in tackles for loss and stopping opponents on third d ...

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the strategies of the Roadmap to Our New Century, part of his Stat ...

Listeners to UM President Julio Frenk’s State of the U reacted positively to the message and the Uni ...

At UM’s inaugural State of the U address, President Julio Frenk detailed the strategies of the Roadm ...

Tropical storm scientists and climate experts at the University of Miami provided insight, observati ...

Joseph Ganitsky, a professor in the Miami Business School, examines the financial crisis facing Arge ...

Jeff Thomas may be quiet off the field, but the sophomore has been consistently making lots of noise ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Tuesday the league slate for the upcoming 2018-19 season. ...

Miami remained ranked in both major polls Sunday, checking in at No. 21 in the Associated Press Top ...

The Miami Hurricanes came to Toledo, Ohio for the biggest home game in the history of Toledo footbal ...

A quartet of University of Miami men's tennis student-athletes concluded the final day of compe ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.