Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: Transfer QB Provides Ray of 'Sunshine' for Washburn ; Haskin: QB McGinnis Lets Hair Down at Washburn

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: Transfer QB Provides Ray of 'Sunshine' for Washburn ; Haskin: QB McGinnis Lets Hair Down at Washburn

Article excerpt

Hairstyles were never much of a consideration for Derek McGinnis.

Not as a quarterback in Crete, Neb., playing for his father Chuck, a legendary high school coach with 130 victories and four state championships.

"I always had a crew cut. It was really short,'' McGinnis recalled. "I cut it myself and just buzzed it.''

Then a couple of roommates at North Dakota State decided to grow out their hair. McGinnis complied. Do what you can to make things livable when sharing space.

"They've still got their long hair,'' McGinnis added, "so I figure I'll keep mine."

When McGinnis sought a transfer, and a better opportunity to quarterback a college team, he phoned Washburn coach Craig Schurig prior to the 2015 spring semester. The Ichabods recruited McGinnis in high school and welcomed him back to campus for another look- see.

No requirements were stipulated on hair length. No barbershop recommended.

The Ichabods found their Sunshine.

You remember: The transfer quarterback in "Remember the Titans."

Like in the movie, it was not long before McGinnis took over as WU's starter. Zeke Palmer, the quarterback who started the final eight games a year ago, opted to leave the program. McGinnis, a junior, won the job -- partly by default and partly because he was good enough to once sign with NDSU, the best football program in the Championship Subdivision.

"You could tell right away from the very first practice he could be really good,'' Schurig said. "It probably helped Derek to win the job in the spring and establish leadership. He did that, spring through summer, and teammates took it well. He was voted a captain.''

Rust was evident in the opener at Lindenwood. The Bods struggled throughout the first half and fell 20-14.

McGinnis said "he was holding back,'' uncomfortable with checking off more often into different plays. Schurig sensed his new QB "felt like he had to do it all and make a play out of nothing.''

Whatever the case, the first play from scrimmage the following week brought everyone together. Jordan Hart zipped free and McGinnis connected with his wideout for a 59-yard touchdown. …

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