Spencer’s McCray part of Georgia State’s first class of Signees

When Spencer football coach Oliver Davis watched a video of Darren McCray’s highlights before the start of his first season at the helm of the Greenwaves program, he was sold.

“His father showed me this DVD and I saw this scrawny kid running all over the place,” Davis said. “He says that’s his son. I said he was small, but he looked like one of the best athletes I’ve seen.”

McCray spent the next two years proving how far he could go with his 5-7, 140-pound build. It was good enough for 2,440 all-purpose yards and touchdowns on kickoff and punt returns, interception returns, receptions and as a rusher.

And when Georgia State saw those numbers, they too were sold.

McCray signed with the Panthers on Wednesday at Spencer as a part of Georgia State’s first-ever recruiting class. The Panthers begin play in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) in the Colonial Athletic Association in the fall of 2010.

Georgia State will be coached by Bill Curry, who has coached Alabama, Georgia Tech and Kentucky.

Like Davis, Curry was not interested in McCray’s height or weight, and that faith in McCray’s playing ability played a big part in his decision to sign.

“That was one school that was not concerned with my size,” McCray, a two-time All-Bi-City player, said. “The talked about it, but they never made it a big deal. I’m 5-7, 140, but they knew I could play football.”

Signing was more than just a formality for McCray. It meant he could stop having to field phone calls from other schools, including Middle Tennessee State and Alabama State.

Davis said McCray is prime recruiting material. Between his good grades and work ethic on the field, Georgia State was getting “one great deal.”

“First thing is his academics — he’s played four years without any kind of academic distractions,” Davis said. “The second thing about Darren is how hard he works to be good. He didn’t get caught up in the way people talk about his size, and he always played as the best player he could be. He never let anything get to him.”

ContactChris Whiteat 706-571-8571