The Hurricanes signed Kc McDermott in the 2014 class, and the Palm Beach Central standout hasn’t disappointed, positioning himself for meaningful minutes this fall after arriving at Miami last January.
The 6-foot-6, 305-pound left tackle sat down with CaneInsider Friday morning. The Under Armour All-American and first-team all-state selection discussed a variety of topics, from which video games he prefers to play in his spare time, his pregame ritual, to his feeling about the overall direction of the program.
Q: What’s your pregame ritual?
KM: I have a pregame playlist I listen to. I get dressed the same way, I put my gear on the same way in order. I’ve had the order since high school. My first game in high school I started as a freshman, played really well, and I’ve just stuck to that routine ever since.
Q: What’s on your Ipod?
KM: I listen to motivational music. I have some hip-hop, too.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not on a football field?
KM: Fishing is definitely one thing. Every summer, after Rise & Grind, me and Shane (older brother) would hop into a kayak and go fishing for tarpon. That’s what I always looked forward to at the end of every week. We also go fishing with our mom and dad out on their boat when we go home, every chance we get. I like to play Xbox, too. I like playing video games.
Q: What games do you play on Xbox?
KM: I really like playing FIFA. Most people don’t know this, but I played soccer in middle school. I was actually pretty good, but football is my first love. When I play FIFA, I roll with Manchester United in manager mode, but I stole some players from Chelsea to make that team happen. I pay $65 million to my goalie, but it’s tough. When I play against someone else, I like Chelsea.
I don’t really play Madden. I’m more of an NCAA guy. I’m really upset that they’re not coming out with a new version this year. I was really looking forward to having a new one so I could play with our new jerseys, not just because I’d be on the roster. I could have made my own uniform combinations.
Q: Since we’re on the uniform topic, how do you like the new uniforms?
KM: Love them. I played with a similar type of uniform at Palm Beach Central, but these are a little more advanced. It’s breathable and they work good, allowing air to flow in into your body.
Q: What’s your greatest asset on the football field?
KM: It’s my effort. I give 110% effort in everything I do; it’s a McDermott family rule. Even when we’re running or just taking mental reps, I give that kind of effort. When I eventually have kids, I’ll have the same rule for my family.
Q: What’s your focus right now? You’re in line to play a lot this season.
KM: My focus is to get better everyday with great effort. What the coaches tell me to work on is technique, using correct form. I’ll be a lot better after I tweak some small things to elevate my game.
Q: How has being here since January helped you be ready for action this fall?
KM: Coming straight from high school it’s definitely helped. It helps in the fact that I know what the coaches are looking for, I’ve been in meetings with them, I’ve spoken to them, know what their expectations are. It’s a preview of fall camp. I have knowledge of different sets, plays and blitzes. I have knowledge of the playbook. It’s definitely given me a leg up from guys that came in over the summer.
Q: You know what good teams look like. What’s your sense of where the University of Miami is heading as a program?
KM: I really do believe we’re heading for a national championship. I won two district titles at Palm Beach Central, they were the first two. I’ve seen a ton of good teams and players: Jon Bostic, Gabe Terry, Pat O’Donnell, Angelo Jean-Louis, several other phenomenal athletes I’ve seen up close, but something was always missing. As soon as I got here, I got the sense that Coach [Al] Golden has instilled the necessary mindset into this team. Players are holding each other accountable. It’s not just coaches coaching. I’ve been coached more by the upperclassmen than I have from Coach [Art] Kehoe. The older guys are taking charge of everything. I remember Anthony Chickillo telling us that he’d talked to several players from past teams. They told him that the coaches didn’t run those good teams in the 80s and 90s. It was mostly the players. The players did all the extra work and this group of upperclassmen are leading us in the same direction.
We’re more of a family now. We wear these wristbands that say ‘One: keep it tight.’ As long as we’re a tight team, no one can stop us. Kevin Beard said after he got here, ‘this looks very, very familiar. You keep this on track, this team will be where we were [in 2001]. I get that sense also. No one can stop a team that is one.
Q: A lot of die-hard UM fans have suffered the last decade with mediocre football. What’s your message to the fans regarding where you think the program is headed?
KM: Let me take this time to thank our fans for sticking with us through some hard times. I’m a fan, been a fan my entire life. I watched a lot of those teams on television, I saw the struggle, too. Just don’t get down on the team, because sometimes circumstances can be really tough. For example, we struggled after we lost Duke Johnson last season. That one piece was the perfect piece.
But my message is thank you for staying with us. Thank you for being the best fans in college football. Keep supporting us, because you’re watching history in the making. You’re watching the improvements that Coach Golden has made since he got here. Don’t let the past get in the way of the future.
— Michael Bradley