Video: Two-Sport McQuary Leads Houston
HOUSTON, Miss. (WCBI Sports) – Houston High School senior Denver McQuary is in line to play baseball at Mississippi State under head coach John Cohen next year, but his decorated career with the Hilltoppers isn’t over yet.
“Denver’s a great kid,” head football coach Billy Cook said. “He works hard on the field and off. He’s a great leader.”
“He brings a lot of energy,” head baseball coach Scott Gann said. “We know that if there’s going to be a spectacular play, he’s going to be somewhere in the mix.”
“He really impacts this team,” senior football teammate Kevonte Marble said. “He steps up. He’s a leader.”
McQuary plays defensive back and wide receiver and returns kicks on the 4-1 Houston football team. He’s one interception shy of breaking Steve McNair’s state record of 27 picks.
“You always feel comfortable with someone with 20-plus interceptions behind you,” Marble said. “You know you have somebody who’s going to pick up your slack if you’re down.”
“He’s smart. He knows what’s going on,” Cook said. “I think that helps him with interceptions. He anticipates where the ball’s going to be.”
“He’s an athlete. He’s a playmaker,” Gann said. “He does it on the football field, does it on the baseball field.”
McQuary is a pitcher and infielder on a baseball team advanced to the state title game this past spring.
“He’s the guy that comes in the dugout and lets the team know, ‘the pitcher’s doing this,’” Gann said. “A lot of times, high school athletes don’t quite see (that). He sees a lot of those things and he relates it to the other guys on the team.”
McQuary’s efforts in the classroom have played a role in his recruitment.
“Coach Cohen, Thompson, they really stay on you about your grades,” McQuary said.
He’s chosen baseball for his future and it’s clear what the chance to play at MSU means to him.
“I’m extremely excited. It’s been one of my life-long dreams,” McQuary said. “I remember as a kid, looking at Houston’s baseball field thinking, hey dad, ‘I’m going to play there.’”
But the dreaming didn’t stop there.
“After I went to my first baseball game at Mississippi State, I was like, ‘I’m going to play here,'” he said. “That’s just surreal to me, just amazing.”
The Hilltoppers’ football team plays at Eupora Friday.