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Five-a-Side: Montana State's DeNarius McGhee

By Craig Haley, FCS Executive Director

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The first Watch List for the inaugural Jerry Rice Award will be announced this week.

The award, which will honor the outstanding freshman in the Football Championship Subdivision, is presented by The Sports Network and sponsored by Fathead.com, comes along one year too late for Montana State redshirt sophomore quarterback DeNarius McGhee.

A national panel of voters will make their selection after the regular season. Last year, McGhee, the Big Sky Conference's 2010 co-offensive player of the year and newcomer of the year, likely would have edged Delaware running back Andrew Pierce, who was a standout in the regular season, but even better during the FCS playoffs, if there had been an award.

McGhee, however, has bigger hardware in mind, something which would go to the Montana State team. He believes the fourth-ranked Bobcats can challenge for the FCS national title, which was won last year by Big Sky rival Eastern Washington.

The 5-foot-11, 203-pound native of Euless, Texas, is as much composed as he is talented, blessed with a play-making style and an attention to detail. He says his team is growing, and so is he, having thrown for 845 yards and six touchdowns through the Bobcats' 3-1 start. He also has two rushing touchdowns.

In Five-a-Side - In the FCS Huddle's monthly feature of "five questions, five answers" with an influential person in the FCS - McGhee discusses the start of what could end as one of the great careers in Big Sky history.

Let's kick off:

TSN: What are you doing better or different as a sophomore than a year ago?

DM: I just try to stay a little bit more consistent than I was last year. I made some mistakes early on in the season, but I learned from those. It's good that I made those mistakes and I just moved on. I'm playing better now.

TSN: As a freshman, did you exceed what you expected?

DM: You know what, I never thought about it, I just took it one game at a time. However it panned out, I just kind of went with it. I'm just taking it one day at a time, one week at a time and trying to be as consistent as possible. I think that's where you become a great player or a great team. As Coach (Brad) Wright (MSU's offensive coordinator) says, 'Consistently is the hallmark of a champion,' and I'm just trying to be consistent now.

TSN: What's clicking for this year's team?

DM: Wow! We're an extremely versatile group on offense. Our defense is great. And we play extremely hard and we play for each other. That's going to take us a long way this year.

TSN: Coming from Texas, how does a Texan get acclimated to living in Montana?

DM: Wow! Montana's a great place. If anyone ever has a chance to visit Bozeman or Flathead Lake or anywhere in Montana, you should really do it because a lot of people don't know about Montana, but it's a great spot to be.

TSN: Speaking of not knowing about something, what would someone not know about you? What would surprise people?

DM: Hmm, not know about me ... most of my teammates know pretty much everything about me, but most people may not know that I'm an extremely loud guy at times. I like to have a lot of fun, that's the main thing. I like to joke around with my teammates - pre-game, whenever. I hope to stay consistent in that area and on the field.

09/27 09:19:12 ET