It’s easy to forget most college football players are regular kids at the end of the day.
Mike McNeely’s Fake Field Goal TD vs. Georgia
The Florida Gators were down 7-0 in the 2014 version of the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” The second quarter was about halfway over, and UF was set to attempt a 39-yard field goal.
McNeely, the holder, takes the snap and immediately starts running. The Georgia defense didn’t know what hit them.
McNeely found a hole on the right side thanks to a phenomenal block by tight end Clay Burton. He scurries past the surprised UGA defense all the way into the end zone.
The Florida fans down in Jacksonville go crazy. McNeely’s 21-yard touchdown tied the game and gave Florida all the momentum.
The Gators went on to win 38-20.
One could give a heroic player like McNeely a pass if he, say, wanted to call in sick at his part-time job at the local grocery store.
That isn’t the McNeely Way. The very next day the fifth-year senior showed up for his cashier shift at his Publix supermarket in Gainesville. Fans immediately recognized Saturday’s hero. He took pictures, he smiled and he bagged groceries.
It’s easy to see why then-head coach Will Muschamp awarded McNeely a scholarship earlier that year. He exemplifies excellence on and off the field.
McNeely went on to medical school after his Florida football days. He’ll always be remembered for showing up to bag groceries the day after making the biggest play of his life.