Before he ever sets foot on a college field, four-star quarterback Tanner McKee out of Corona, Calif. is putting his faith before football. The pro-style quarterback will serve a two-year Mormon mission before he begins his college football career.
“To me, it’s about being dedicated to what you believe in,” McKee said, per Adam Kramer of Bleacher Report. “Other people are going to think I’m nuts for going out for two years, but I feel like this will help me in the long run. You don’t have to just pick football or your faith. You can balance them and have both.”
According to Rivals, McKee has offers from Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, Stanford, Washington, Texas, and BYU. But he is still unsigned heading into the second signing period, and his decision to go through with the mission trip instead of launching into football is proving somewhat of a tricky issue.
“I think his mission trip probably has steered some schools away as a whole,” McKee’s high school coach Matt Logan said to Bleacher Report. “You’re projecting the student-athlete two years out, and I think that’s hard for some.”
That point about projecting two years out is salient. That said, there have been plenty of athletes who followed this same path and ended up having highly successful college football careers.
Some might even say that McKee will be better equipped in the long run by following through on his convictions. At the very least, this decision speaks to his character, which is a big deal, both at the college and professional levels.