JUCO transfer DK McGruder discusses decision to commit to Troy

Published 11:39 am Thursday, November 30, 2023

On Wednesday, Troy landed another junior college (JUCO) commitment when defensive back DK McGruder committed to the Trojans. On Thursday, The Messenger spoke with McGruder about his decision.

McGruder committed to Troy over offers from other schools like Western Kentucky, Arkansas State and Alcorn. He said that he visited Troy a total of three times before committing to play at the school and that the Trojans have been pursuing him longer than anyone else.

“Troy offered me way back before the summer, back in the spring,” McGruder said. “They’ve been rocking with me since the beginning. They saw it in me before the season even started.”

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McGruder, a Natchez, Miss., native, said he was impressed with both head coach Jon Sumrall and Troy’s campus.

“Coach Sumrall is a really good coach. He does what he has to do to get the job done, I like Coach Sumrall,” McGruder said. “I love the campus, the facilities, the locker rooms, everything. I really liked everything about Troy.”

McGruder was a star baseball and football player at Natchez High School and Adams County Christian School before starting his college football career at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC). While McGruder said that he initially contemplated also playing baseball at Troy, he’s focusing on football instead.

In his freshman season, McGruder played in nine games and tallied 11 tackles, one tackle-for-loss and six pass breakups. As a sophomore this season, McGruder earned 12 tackles, one tackle-for-loss and two pass breakups in 10 games.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 178-pound cornerback is already setting goals for himself for his time at Troy.

“I want to go there and become a playmaker, that’s the goal,” he flatly said “I would say my main thing I need to work on is my communication, for sure. That’s the biggest thing for me because I’m not really a talkative person. I feel like I could be more outspoken, so I’m going to work on that.”

Troy’s 2024 Recruiting Class now includes Mobile (McGill-Toolen) cornerback Shemar Welch, Charles Henderson (Troy) athlete Jywon Boyd, UMS-Wright (Mobile) athlete Joe Lott, Baker athlete Kevin Beckham Jr., McAdory linebacker J’Quan Mason, Westlake (Ga.) offensive lineman Dominic Steward, Booker T. Washington (Tuskegee) athlete Elijah Hall Jr., Montgomery-Catholic quarterback Caleb McCreary, Jacksonville quarterback Jim Ogle, Jefferson (Ga.) offensive lineman Brian Senter and West Jefferson (La.) receiver Shaun Nicholas. The recruiting class also includes junior college (JUCO) commitments from receiver Zeriah Beason, offensive lineman Zerian Hudson and defensive backs McGruder, Samson Israel, EJ Fisk, Navarion Benson, Kris Robinson and Cary Grant.

Troy 2024 Commitments

Jywon Boyd, ATH, Charles Henderson High School (Troy, Ala.)

Shemar Welch, CB, McGill-Toolen Catholic School (Mobile, Ala.)

Joe Lott, ATH, UMS-Wright High School (Mobile, Ala.)

Kevin Beckham Jr., ATH, Baker High School (Mobile, Ala.)

J’Quan Mason, LB, McAdory High School (McCalla, Ala.)

Dominic Steward, OL, Westlake High School (Atlanta, Ga.)

Elijah Hall, ATH, Booker T. Washington High School (Tuskegee, Ala.)

Caleb McCreary, QB, Montgomery-Catholic School (Montgomery, Ala.)

Jim Ogle, QB, Jacksonville High School (Jacksonville, Ala.)

Brian Senter, OL, Jefferson High School (Jefferson, Ga.)

Shaun Nicholas, WR, West Jefferson High School (West Jefferson, La.)

DK McGruder, DB, Gulf Coast Mississippi Community College (Natchez, Miss.)

Zeriah Beason, WR, Hutchinson Community College (Duncanville, Texas)

EJ Fisk, CB, East Central Community College (Saltillo, Miss.)

Navarion Benson, DB, Co-Lin Community College (Crystal Springs, Miss.)

Kris Robinson, DB, East Central Community College (Jackson, Miss.)

Cary Grant, CB, Highland Community College (New Orleans, La.)

Samson Israel, DB, Coahoma Community College (Douglasville, Ga.)

Zerian Hudson, OL, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (Brookhaven, Miss.)