For the most part, Mike McNeely is a fairly normal college sophomore. He goes to class, he works at a grocery store in his spare time...oh, and he scored perhaps the most important touchdown in the biggest win in two years for Florida football. During yesterday's win over Georgia, McNeely ran a fake field goal for a 21-yard game-tying score. Did he let that massive play go to his head much? If showing up to his normal shift at Publix on Sunday is any indication, not really.
Of course, things were a big different for McNeely during this specific work shift, after becoming a Gator hero the day before.
McNeely took photos with fans and signed autographs on tickets, pictures and even receipts. He gave some high-fives and some hugs and, of course, bagged groceries, helped customers to their cars and collected shopping carts...
On Sunday, Publix manager Dane Santiago described McNeely as a “phenomenal” employee who has rarely missed work on Sundays, even when his shift comes just hours after football games.
“He doesn’t get any special treatment or anything like that," Santiago said. “He’s gotten top marks in school, but he’s also done that here. All of his evals are considered role-model status, which is the top tier you can get.
"[He] shows up on time, does exactly what we ask him to do, if not more. He’s got a great attitude while he’s here -- always positive.”
If Florida rebounds this year, and Will Muschamp is able to salvage his job, he may have McNeely to thanks, at least in part. We're sure that Publix doesn't mind the extra attention either.