Share “Jenni Carlson: OSU's Andrew McGee answers...”

Jenni Carlson: OSU's Andrew McGee answers higher calling to serve

Nominated for college football's Good Works Team, McGee says he came to Stillwater to tackle and teach.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: August 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm •  Published: August 13, 2010

That's why he told Cowboy coaches during his recruiting visit that he wanted to do work in the community. He wanted to minister. He wanted to help.

Word got passed along to Talley, who enlisted McGee's help as soon as he arrived on campus.

He has been all over the state since then, from Altus to Idabel to Hooker. He has done dozens of projects for those who needed help, from roofing a house to tearing down an old barn to putting up six miles of barbed-wire fence.

It is speaking to youngsters, though, that he enjoys most.

Last spring, McGee went with Talley to the Wichita Mountains to go rapelling with a group of youth. Standing on top of that cliff was scary for them.

McGee could relate.

Only a week before, he had been wearing a neck brace. He'd worn it for more than four months after breaking his neck in the Bedlam game.

He told the kids all about it, how he'd worried about his future, how he'd wondered if he'd ever play again. He admitted that he was scared. He confessed that he was afraid, even though he knew that God had commanded his believers not to fear.

"He's not afraid to say, 'This is where I messed up,'" Talley said. "Kids need to hear that. They think sometimes someone of his stature doesn't mess up.

"Being transparent is huge."

Every kid made it down the mountain that day.

So did McGee.

"That was something that I don't think I'll ever forget," McGee said.

'A young man you hope your son grows up to be'

Andrew McGee knows that he has raised the level of difficulty on being a college student, much less a college athlete.

His already busy schedule is made all the more hectic with his speaking engagements and his community service. And while he admits to some of the vices of the average twentysomething — he still finds time for video games — he realized long ago that he can't do all of the things that guys his age do.

"You want to have fun," he said. "You want to have fun with your guys, go out and hang out with your teammates, talk about what they're talking about, laughing and playing around in the locker room."

It can be difficult.

"I can't tell you right now that I'm perfect or that I do everything right," McGee said.

But he's mindful of the standard that he has set and the calling that he has heard.

McGee has chosen this path less taken.

"Andrew is the kind of young man you hope your son grows up to be," said John Bugg, pastor at University Heights Baptist Church where McGee interned the past two summers.

People will often ask McGee how he does what he does, all the volunteering, all the ministering.

He insists that it isn't a burden or a chore.

"It's just as fulfilling for me as it is for them," he will say, "because that's where my heart is. It blesses me every time I do it."

Jenni Carlson is a columnist for The Oklahoman. Contact her at 475-4125 and You can visit her page at

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
+ show more

Words of Wisdom

Some of Oklahoma State cornerback Andrew McGee's favorite quotations from his Facebook page:

“Make a living by what you get. Make a life by what you give.”

“No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”

“Faith is the substance for my addiction.”

“To live this way is to be radical. To be radical is to be countercultural. To be countercultural is to be like Jesus. To be like Jesus is my goal!”

“If they're breathing, they need to hear about Jesus.”


  1. 1
    Claremore firefighter dies in high-water rescue as up to 6 inches of rain falls in Tulsa metro area
  2. 2
    I Want This Screen Protector That Magically Gives iPhones a Back Button
  3. 3
    'A Beautiful Mind' mathematician John Nash killed in car crash
  4. 4
    Daniel Cormier beats Anthony Johnson by submission to win light heavyweight title
  5. 5
    Video purportedly of Kevin Durant raises questions
+ show more