Sept. 7, 2005
You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy, at least not when it comes to senior linebacker Sam McGrew.
If you asked McGrew to describe him-self he would simply say, “a country boy.”
That’s because this Crawfordville native does everything you would expect from a country boy including hunting, fishing and grilling barbeque. McGrew doesn’t know where life after Florida State football is going to lead, but one thing he hopes is that the road leads to the country.
“I have to be somewhere in the country,” McGrew said. “It’s got to be down south in the country, I can’t deal with the cold. I don’t care where. As long as there is a lot of space.”
Family plays a significant role in McGrew’s life, so an added perk to playing at one of the top programs in the country was he could stay close to home. With Crawfordville only a 20-minute drive from campus, McGrew tries to get home at least once or twice a week to see his family.
All of his mother’s side of the family still lives in Crawfordville. McGrew, who has one sister, has more cousins than he can keep up with.
“My grandma had nine children and all of them have children,” McGrew said. “There are so many of us and we all live in the same area so the whole neighborhood is basically my family.”
You would guess that a big-time football player’s ultimate day without football would be full of thrills and excitement, but that’s the exact opposite of what McGrew describes as his ideal day, not including football.
His day would consist of nothing more than grabbing a few fishing poles and some friends and heading
down to the pond. McGrew likes to simply relax, and when the fish aren’t biting, it gives him a chance to sit and catch up with friends.
Without football in his life McGrew would have a lot more time for another one of his favorite hobbies — hunting.
McGrew said he hardly has time to hunt now with life so busy at Florida State, but when he gets a chance he loves to go. What better to follow up fishing and hunting than cooking, in particular grilling? McGrew can’t think of anything better and frequently finds himself behind the grill. He feels his only other talent outside of football is his cooking abilities.
“I can’t dance; I have gotten too big for that, but I’m good behind the grill,” McGrew boasted. “Hunting, fishing and barbeque; I’m just a country boy.”
Being the country boy that he is you would think that when the team took a preseason bonding trip to play paintball that McGrew held his own, but he said that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I got hit a lot,” McGrew said. “I thought I was the country boy on the team, but there are some boys on the
offensive line more country than me. They know how to shoot and they shot me up.”
When McGrew’s not fishing, hunting or grilling, his favorite thing to do is play video games with all of his friends. Ernie Sims, Brodrick Bunkley, A.J. Nicholson, Pat Watkins and ‘Grew, as he is known amongst friends, frequently get together and play Madden and the army game Ghost Recon on Xbox. They play for bragging rights; lose and you will never hear the end of it, win and you get to talk about it forever.
McGrew has grown very close to his teammates over the years and considers them all to be true friends and like family. Amongst them McGrew is known as the one you can talk to. When one of his friends is having problems and needs to talk it out they usually turn to him
“I’m just real laid back and I think over-all they think I am a genuine friend,” McGrew said. “I’m not perfect but from my flaws I have learned. That’s what really matters most.”
McGrew’s family at Florida State has expanded again with the arrival of this year’s freshmen. Derek Nicholson, the younger brother of `Grew’s close friend A.J. Nicholson, is a freshman on the team
this season and a member of McGrew’s segment. As a senior and close friend of A.J.’s, McGrew feels like he should look after Derek.
Another freshman that McGrew will mentor throughout the season is Eugene (Geno) Hayes, a nearby Madison native. McGrew knows Geno from high school where his cousins frequently played against Geno.
He is also a country boy so he and McGrew already have something in common.
Whether McGrew is hunting, fishing or grilling out, you can guarantee he will be surrounded by friends and family. A genuine friend, a caring brother, one who leads by example both on and off the field, McGrew can be described in many ways, but the best way to describe him is simple — a country boy.
By Jenn Hunter
Sports Information Student Assistant