McGirt comes back home, enrolls at Morgan State Former Patterson star transfers from Va. Tech

September 06, 1996|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Patterson All-Metro quarterback Willie McGirt, who left Virginia Tech after one year, has enrolled at Morgan State and will be eligible to play this season.

Because he is moving to a Division I-AA school, he won't have to sit out this season and has four years of eligibility remaining.

As a senior at Patterson in 1994, McGirt rushed 78 times for 1,007 yards and 13 touchdowns, and completed 76 of 123 passes for 1,042 yards and 12 touchdowns. During his Patterson career, McGirt accounted for 57 touchdowns on 253-for-441 passing for 3,429 yards. He also rushed 150 times for 1,363 yards.

McGirt received a scholarship to Virginia Tech, where he attained 34 credits, but was told he couldn't play quarterback. First, he was moved to linebacker, then to receiver.

"I felt like I wasn't being treated right," he said. "They said I had a chance to play, but then they moved me back down to the scout team. I asked if I could go to quarterback and they said no, that I wasn't good enough. They said I was too slow to learn, stuff like that.

"I didn't get a fair shot at playing quarterback. It was like they were playing games with me, with my future. I felt I had to do something, so I came home."

Morgan State coach Stump Mitchell, whose team opened last bTC weekend with a one-point loss at Central (Ohio) State, said McGirt will be given the opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback job, which belongs to converted receiver Otis Covington. But he stressed that the Bears' coaching staff "feels great with Otis Covington," who completed seven of 26 passes for 61 yards and rushed 15 times for 23 yards.

"If everyone on offense played as well as Otis last week, we'd be 1-0 instead of 0-1," Mitchell said.

For now, Mitchell said that McGirt will assume a "supportive role" to Covington. "Competition is great for everyone, and Willie will be given a legitimate opportunity to compete," he said.

Pub Date: 9/06/96

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