So was his family. And a few of his former high school teachers. He credits both with pushing him to finish up that all-important degree. And they were all there on that special weekend in Stillwater.
They watched McBean, dressed in cap and gown, walk the stage inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. He was even singled out by OSU president Burns Hargis during his graduation speech.
“It was wonderful,” McBean said. “Just a wonderful experience, something I won't forget. It was really important to me and that whole weekend was great.”
His first month as a postgraduate wasn't too bad, either.
Since returning to his familiar place on the Ravens sideline, Baltimore is 4-1, including three playoff wins and an AFC Championship.
His debilitating injury kept him from contributing on the field. But this experience, an up close ticket to Ray Lewis' final (and emotional) run through the playoffs, is something he considers among his best professional memories.
“This is way bigger than me,” McBean said. “You got Ray Lewis on his final run, guys like Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed, these guys who have been here. It's been special for all of us, making it to the Super Bowl.”
“It's just been a special month.”