Kevin McGill, a 2016 Westlake High School graduate, enters his senior year at Eastern Michigan University poised for a strong campaign after being tabbed as one of the football team’s captains in his final season.
“It feels amazing to be named a team captain because that is a player vote, so for the team to look at me as a captain and a leader speaks volumes and I couldn’t be more grateful for it,” McGill said.
As a junior, McGill was an anchor for Eastern Michigan’s defense and started at cornerback in all 13 games for the Eagles. He finished the season with 38 tackles, six pass breakups and led the team with three interceptions.
“All my goals are set around the team goals, and all I want to do is win a Mid-American Conference championship,” McGill said. “If I can do that, then I will have the best experience here I could have ever dreamed of. In order to do that, I just have to be the best teammate, player and leader I can be vocally and through my actions.”
In a span of a week during the month of July, McGill was selected to three different preseason watch lists for awards: the nation’s defensive player of the year, the best defensive back in college football based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character, and earned first-team All-MAC Preseason honors from Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s College Football Preview.
“Being named to the watch lists and to be recognized was awesome to see, but it is not going to change anything besides me just wanting to work harder to be a better man and the best teammate I can be for our team to reach our ultimate goals,” McGill said.
Before his college football days, McGill was a leader for the Westlake Wolverines football program under former head coach Marlon Curtis.
“Kevin was a playmaker and he always wanted to win and kept that tenacity when met with a challenge. As Kevin matured he understood the rhyme and reason of why coaches said or did certain things to get the most out of him,” Curtis said. “All opposing coaches and players alike knew that if Number 4 is near the ball he is going to get it and make something happen to help his team. I couldn’t be prouder of him and the entire Westlake nation family stands behind him.”
At Westlake, McGill didn’t play any cornerback where he’s been an anchor on Eastern Michigan’s defense for the last three seasons, but he did build a friendship and bond with his teammates there that is still present to this day.
“I played receiver and safety at Westlake, I didn’t really play cornerback. Every day was a memory at Westlake and that was a brotherhood. I still talk to everyone on that team to this day,” McGill said. “Those are some of my closest friends I’ve ever had, and we were just always together everyday. We would have two practices a day in the summer and just spend the whole time together going to each other’s houses and kicking it all day.”
Throughout his three years of college football, McGill noted one particular lesson he’s learned.
“The biggest thing I have learned playing college football is everybody on our team cares about one another. We all do things for the next man. There aren’t a lot of things we do just for ourselves,” McGill said. “Every day you don’t want to get up at 6 in the morning, but you know your teammates are doing it so you have to. It is just about being a better man and being at Eastern Michigan has been a great experience and I have loved every minute of it.”
McGill is on track to graduate in the spring of next year with a sports management major and a communications minor.
“Hopefully [after college] I’m still playing football and if that doesn’t work out, then I want to be a college coach or an NFL scout,” McGill said. “I just want to thank anyone who has ever been in my support system, Westlake and the whole community for being behind me.”