When it came down to it, Oregon commit Seven McGee just couldn’t stay away from home.
After transferring back to California for Narbonne High School, ranked No. 10 in the preseason Super 25 rankings, in January, McGee told the Democrat and Chronicle he’s coming back to East for the long haul.
“I felt like East High School is the place for me and it’s the place I would love to finish out my high school career,” McGee said. “I love my coaches, I love my city and I feel like this year is going to be the year for East to rise.”
The Eagles went 7-2 and reached the Section V Class A semifinals in 2018. He was a first team All-Greater Rochester selection in football and was named the Rochester City Athletic Conference defensive MVP.
The 5-foot-9 dynamic athlete finished with more than 1,000 all-purpose yards, 10 touchdowns, 100 tackles and two interceptions for the Eagles, which also landed him All-American honors from MaxPreps.
The soon-to-be junior, committed to Oregon, holds offers from Syracuse, Ole Miss, Tennessee and USC among others.
This is the fourth time McGee has transferred high schools and while that may raise some eyebrows, the coaches at East speak highly of his character on and off the field.
“He’s a kid that wants to play in front of his mom, friends and family. He already knows he’s going to spend his college days on the west coast and he has some pretty secure offers,” co-head coach Steve Flagler said. “He’s comfortable with those and people know he can play.
“He’s a sophomore in high school and I couldn’t even imagine being out there on my own, without my mother.”
While he wasn’t at Narbonne long, McGee was still able to turn heads during spring football and had a number of impressive showings at offseason camps across California.
“(Being there) helped me get better in a lot of ways and helped me find more ways to succeed. It was good to get the work in,” McGee said.
The No. 3 ranked running back in the 2021 class according to 247Sports is already back in Rochester and planned to enroll in school on Friday.
Heading into next season under Flagler and James Vann, on paper, the Eagles appear to be one of the early contenders in Class A.
Rising senior Freddie Brock has picked up Division I offers from Albany, Massachusetts, Delaware State and interest from other big name programs while quarterback Anthony Gilbert and wide receiver Mike Maxwell are also poised for even more success.
“We had high expectations regardless, but he’s the best player in the state and that pumps us up on another level, but also puts more pressure on us. People are going to have higher expectations now,” Vann said. “We better score some points.”
With McGee back in the fold that only improves East’s chances of winning its first sectional title since 2005.
“I think we could do a lot this year and accomplish some things we couldn’t last year,” McGee said.
With the momentum of McGee’s transfer, the positive offseason development of younger players and the memory from last year’s 39-8 loss to Irondequoit still fresh in their mind, the Eagles will have plenty of motivation this summer.
“We’re at the point now where we won a sectional game and were able to get (the monkey) off our backs, but we clearly weren’t ready for that second-round game,” Flagler said. “We laid an egg, but we were better than what we showed. Having gone through it one year plus having a full offseason with Seven will be key.”
The Eagles open the season at home at 6 p.m. Sept. 6 against Eastridge before taking on Irondequoit in Week 2 for a sectional semifinal rematch.