Back who helped revive St. Martin wants D1 chance
HLYMAN am McGee has much of what you would expect out of a Division I football prospect. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound running back finished his St. Martin High School career with 3,707 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns. He also caught 38 passes for 330 yards and four scores.
He’s an intelligent back who played with the varsity squad starting as a freshman, displaying good speed, quick moves and nice power for a back his size.
If the ball was in Ham’s hands, chances are something good was going to happen.
However, the Division I offers haven’t piled up for the gifted running back.
McGee and several other Coast stars are preparing to don their high school helmets for the final time at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the Bernard Blackwell AllStar Classic at Milner Stadium in Gulfport.
While participants like St. Martin offensive lineman Brandon Cunningham (Mississippi State) and Gulfport quarterback T.Q. Newsome (Southern Miss) have settled on their college destinations, McGee is undecided on where he’s headed.
Southern Miss offered McGee in May of 2017, but his current offer list is made up of some of the state’s top junior college programs and one Division I school — Indiana State.
When McGee takes the field Saturday in a game that will be televised statewide by Mississippi Public Broadcasting, he hopes that he can grab the attention of college scouts.
“I’ve got the junior college offers, but I’m looking for a Pac-12 or something,” a smiling McGee said after a practice at Harrison Central on Friday.
McGee badly wants to be given the opportunity to play on college football’s highest level, and it’s about more than realizing his own dream.
“I don’t want to stress myself, but it’s a real strong thought,” he said. “It’s something I really want to do. I want to make the people who have been on this journey with me, make them happy. I want them to know this all wasn’t for no reason.”
Up to this point, McGee believes many larger programs have missed out out on the fact that he has a strong work ethic to match his solid skill set.
“I know I’m going to go out there and work every day, every time on the field,” he said.
When Indiana State offered McGee in the middle of November, he was relieved to finally have another Division I program deliver some good news.
“That was a blessing. I thought it was over with,” McGee said.
Indiana State also offered McGee’s cousin, Ocean Springs running back Micah Kelly, who will also play Saturday.
If he suits up for a junior college in 2019, McGee is anxious to make the most of the opportunity like so many other Mississippians have on their way to eventually joining powerhouse college programs.
“I’m real determined to get in there and do what I do,” McGee said. “I want to get where I need to be. That’s what it’s all about.”
McGee, who helped lead St. Martin to consecutive playoff bids, is part of a South roster that’s loaded with some of the most talented seniors on the Coast. During practice this week, McGee has enjoyed taking the field with players he’s been going to battle against over the last four years.
“That makes me want to come out here and go hard, going against good competition,” McGee said. “I’ve got to do everything I can every touch.”
St. Martin running back Jovann “Ham” McGee, shown during a 2017 game at Pascagoula, ran for 34 touchdowns in his high school career.
Ham McGee has received two Division I offers – one from Southern Miss before his junior year, and one from Indiana State last month.