- The Washington Times - Friday, December 29, 2006

While the rest of his teammates will have a week off after tomorrow’s contest against Boston College in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, Navy senior defensive back Jeremy McGown will return to Annapolis a few days early.

McGown recently was named the Fourth Battalion Commander at Bancroft Hall, the academy dormitory that houses all 4,000 students, for the spring semester. The academy selects members of the Brigade of Midshipmen, or student body, for leadership positions that are referred to as “stripers” by the students in Annapolis.

The Brigade is split into two regiments and six battalions. McGown will be responsible for five companies of midshipmen, each with a company commander who will report to him.

“I actually didn’t go up for that particular job — I just went up for a striper job in general,” McGown said. “You go in front of a board of pretty high-ranking officers. You go through the interview process, and then everyone kind of forgot about it. But four weeks later they called me into the office and said I was going to be a battalion commander.

“I was just shocked because that is pretty high up there, but if I was going to be up there I wanted a job with a lot of responsibilities. It is a chance to learn a lot of leadership skills before I graduate and go out there and do the real thing.”

Some of McGown’s duties will include presiding over any honor or conduct adjudications that involve a member of his battalion. He also will be responsible for his battalion’s inspections, coordinating with his five company commanders and marching in front of his battalion in parades and for daily formation in Annapolis.

Spending the spring as a battalion commander will finish a distinguished four years for McGown. He came to the academy as a quarterback, switched to wide receiver during his freshman season and made a permanent move to the secondary as a sophomore.

McGown has started every game the past three seasons save for three he missed last year because of a broken arm he suffered early against Duke (he stayed in that game and finished with six tackles before seeking medical help).

He started at cornerback in 2004, but the past two seasons McGown has been a jack of all trades in defensive coordinator Buddy Green’s secondary. Despite spending most of the last two years at safety, he also has lined up at cornerback and as the team’s nickel back. His ability to shift around to accommodate for injuries or Green’s desire to put the best four or five defensive backs regardless of position on the field has been enormously useful.

This season the 5-foot-11, 189-pound McGown ranks third on the team in tackles with 64 and has the first two interceptions of his career.

“[McGown] has been really valuable. He’s a guy who came in and was a really good athlete that was willing to move around to whatever position we ask of him,” coach Paul Johnson said. “Bottom line is if we had left him at quarterback, he would probably be the quarterback right now. But he moved early on to try and help us. He is just a good athlete, and he has a great attitude.”

McGown will face a talented quarterback in his final game tomorrow. Boston College’s Matt Ryan was a first team All-ACC selection after throwing for 2,700 yards and 14 touchdowns.

“I’ve grown so much in every way. I came in a freshman, and I was 160 pounds, and I didn’t think I was going to play too much,” McGown said. “Up in the hall they didn’t even know I played football, especially after plebe summer. I grew physically with coach [Mike] Brass’s workouts and then football-wise once Coach Green got a hold of me.

“I’ve just grown as a person too. I think it is neat for my family to see me grown from an 18-year old, 160-pound boy into what I am now.”

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