Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

McElroy on quest for Rhodes


Senior quarterback Greg McElroy has led the Crimson Tide football team to a 13th BCS National Championship and 17 straight games without a loss in his two years starting for the Crimson Tide. But, his success doesn’t stop on the football field. McElroy’s leadership skills and determination to keep high academic standards has always been a priority.

“He’s always found the time to study and to make that a priority to him,” said Greg McElroy’s father, Greg McElroy Sr. “On Sunday night after the late Florida game, I spoke with him and he was working on finishing up his essay. I’m sure he would have probably wanted to be relaxing, or watching football games, but he’s so dedicated and disciplined in what he does academically. That’s one thing football has taught him. Discipline. He knows what he has to do and he sets his mind to it, then gets it done.”

McElroy’s focus has aided him in being the one student chosen by the University of Alabama to represent the school in the most prestigious, oldest international scholarship, the Rhodes Scholar program. Each year, only 32 U.S. citizens are among the Rhodes Scholars worldwide chosen to take up degree courses at Oxford University.

“It’s been quite an experience,” McElroy said. “I actually submitted my application [last] Sunday night. It’s finished, it’s formally done and I’m just very, very pleased to have that in the rearview mirror.

“It’s been quite a tedious process,” he added. “It’s been a lot of crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. The application itself took a couple of hours to fill out. I’ll be very pleased to have it behind me. It will be quite an experience if I were to have the opportunity to interview. I’m looking forward to the application process and going through the Rhodes Trust.”

In order to apply through the Rhodes Trust, there are a number of steps each candidate must take, such as writing a 1,000-word essay, filling out a lengthy application, and going through various formal interviews. A little more than three weeks ago, McElroy spent time around campus interviewing with the University’s top professionals until finally receiving the school’s endorsement.

“He said he’s spent a lot of time working on the essay and preparing for the interviews,” McElroy Sr. said. “He’s put a great deal of time into it. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into the process. It would be an absolute honor for him to get the scholarship. But just to get to this point and get the school’s official endorsement and even be considered is really great for him and really great for our family. Its something people constantly bring up to us and tell us how proud they are of him. We are proud of him, to not only do well on the football field, but also in academics.”

In preparation for the Rhodes Scholar process, McElroy has spoken with some of the previous Alabama Rhodes Scholars. If McElroy is chosen for the first round of Rhodes Trust interviews, they will occur on the weekend of the Georgia State game. Luckily for McElroy, before the season began the school changed the game from Saturday to Thursday, so he will not be missing any games for the Rhodes Scholar interviews. Now all McElroy has to focus on is being selected to move forward in the process.

States are grouped into 16 districts, the state of Alabama is in the seventh district, which also includes the states of Florida and Tennessee. Two students from district seven will be selected as Rhodes Scholars following the final interview process on Saturday, November 20.

“What separates him from the other candidates is how well rounded he is,” McElroy Sr. said. “He really works hard on and off the football field. He tries to do things the right way and participate in so many different things. It is never just football or academics. What’s great about Alabama is the University has really provided those opportunities for him. Plus, he has tremendous leadership qualities. People really look up to him because of his personality and charisma.”

While pursing a degree in sports management, McElroy has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll four times (2007-10), the President’s List (4.0 GPA) twice, and the Dean’s List (3.5-3.99 GPA) four times. McElroy received the 2010 Playboy Anson Mount Award as the nation’s top scholar-athlete, which included a $5,000 gift to the University.

Last week, the 2009 SEC Championship Game MVP was selected as a semifinalist for the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the best and brightest from the college gridiron, as announced by The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame on Thursday.

“He has the experience, that’s what makes him different from the other applicants,” said sophomore offensive lineman Barrett Jones. “It’s extremely difficult to balance school and football. It’s kind of like having two different jobs. You have to be really skilled in time management. He definitely deserves it just because of how he’s managed football and academics.”

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