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News

Player Profile: Keith McGill

Posted Jun 10, 2014

The Oakland Raiders selected CB Keith McGill in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Photo by Tony Gonzales

The Oakland Raiders went defense-heavy in the 2014 NFL Draft and selected CB Keith McGill, out of the University of Utah, in the 4th round. The big-bodied defensive back at 6’3”, 211 pounds started his college career as a safety and made the switch to cornerback as a senior. Despite playing at a new position, McGill was named honorable mention All-Pac-12 in 2013.

McGill joins the Raiders - a franchise known for its history at the cornerback position. One of the most notable corners in Raiders history, Hall of Famer Willie Brown, was one of the first people McGill met on his visit to the Alameda facility. “I came on a visit here a couple weeks prior to the draft and had the opportunity to meet Willie Brown,” said McGill. “Just somebody playing the same position and kind of the same size and being a Hall of Famer and doing all the accomplishments he did, he just told me a lot and it was just good to relate to somebody. Now that I’m here, I’m able to do that on a day-to-day basis.”

Receiving the phone call during the draft was a comforting feeling for McGill, who grew up in Southern California. “It was a pretty good feeling. I was waiting for awhile and when the phone finally rang it was a sense of relief,” said McGill. “I knew what team I was going to be playing for and staying close to home and be able to play in Oakland was a really big thing for me.”

McGill found his motivation and inspiration from home through his father. “I’d say my role model growing up was definitely my father,” McGill said. “He helped me through life and just through everything. He’s just been there the whole way and without him I don’t think I’d be here today.”

The 25-year-old rookie is a self-proclaimed family man. “I’m married; I have a daughter, so definitely a family man off the field. I’m real passionate about the things that I do,” said McGill. “I’m into football. I’m into cars. I have a family and I’d just say my life revolves around those things. I try to surround myself with the best people as possible and try to make myself successful.”

Photo by Tony Gonzales

McGill will be surrounded by one of the best people at his position – veteran defensive back Charles Woodson. The rookie will have the opportunity to learn on the field and in the classroom from Woodson and veterans like Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers. “It’s very important. Those guys have been in the league for awhile and have lasted and done a lot of good things – Pro Bowls and that stuff – so having veterans above me and in front of me, it just helps me out a lot,” said McGill. “To see how they work, to see how they practice, what they do inside the meeting rooms and how they take care of their bodies and what knowledge they have as far as recognizing routes and formations, it’s just all going to be a plus for me. I’m just going to try to take it all in.”

The knowledge from the vets will help McGill as he adjusts to the tempo of life in the National Football League. “Just the overall tempo in meetings and during practice and during walk-throughs, it’s just totally different,” said McGill. “I always hear there’s a difference between a player and a professional and I definitely have a grasp for that now.”

Once he can fully adjust, McGill can unleash his physical style at cornerback.  “My style of play is just physical, try to disrupt as much timing as possible,” said McGill. “I’m a little different breed than other corners out there, so I’m trying to just pattern my own game and not really have a lot of comparisons to a lot of corners in the NFL my size. I’m trying to be my own player; I’m trying to be my own person. I’m trying to make a lot of plays, score a lot of touchdowns, be physical and just be known for overall player.”

In the third week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), McGill is finding his way. And he’s starting to feel at home in the Silver and Black. “The first time I put on the jersey it was just a really good feeling,” said McGill. “I actually sat there for a while and just stared at it and looked at my name plaque and just took it all in, well for the five minutes I had before I had to get to practice. But it was an even better feeling seeing a picture on the Raiders website. It was a really good feeling.”

He expects to feel even more at home when he sees Raider Nation for the first time. “Being able to play for the Raider Nation and being able to play for the Black Hole, it’s a great opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to just trying to please those guys,” said McGill.

He hopes the fans know that he plans on giving all he has to his job in order to be successful. “I would just want them to know that I’m willing to do anything to not only step on the field, but be successful on the field,” said McGill. “I just can’t wait to see what happens in the future and I can’t wait for the Raider Nation to see what happens in the future. Hopefully my career just lasts through the Raider Nation, however many years it’s going to be, but I’m here to stay and I’m here to make plays and hopefully they’ll have my back.”

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