Tim McGill has been one of the strongest players in the Arena Football League since he joined it in 2003 with the Carolina Cobras. Using his strength and size, he has had a successful career in the AFL, posting three All-Arena selections as well as being named a finalist for 2011 Defensive Lineman of the Year. This past season, McGill showed off his strength en route to becoming the first nose tackle in Arena Football history to post 10.0 sacks in a season.
The size and strength that McGill boasts is something that has always come natural to him as he’s been adding both since the age of 14.
“It's crazy because when I was born I was only six pounds so until I was 14 I was a normal sized kid. When I turned 15, I started growing every year, putting on weight. When I graduated I was around 260 or 270 lbs.”
After he began his growth spurt, McGill has gone on to become a physical force at whatever he has done. In high school, he became a powerlifting champion in the dead lift and bench press and the transition to football was an easy one.
He has been a dominant force in Arena Football posting career numbers of 84.5 tackles, 31.5 for loss to go along with 26.5 sacks, 12 forced fumbles, eight passes defensed, one fumble recovery in 84 games (80 starts). McGill describes himself as one of the most ferocious penetrators at the nose tackle position.
“Rage and fury and any other word that describes an animal and put it all together. It's furious, you've got to see me all year long. I've got some things in store that I've been working on.”
One of the most important positions on defense is McGill’s at nose tackle, where the center of the defensive line can effect so many plays by putting pressure on the quarterback from the onset of the snap. He expects the SaberCats to have a top defense next season and being a nose tackle in the league for five seasons, McGill knows the integral role he plays in setting up his teammates to make plays.
“It's the most important position on defense because no other position can affect the game like the nose. You're on the ball every single play since the quarterback throws every play. No other position can do that. You can exploit timing and disrupt the quarterback. If you look at teams that win championships they almost always have the best nose guard. That's what I've been noticing with Arena Football.”
With McGill on the line in 2011, the Tampa Bay Storm led the league in sacks with 41 as he paired up with Defensive Lineman of the Year, Cliff Dukes to form one of the most devastating pairs in the AFL this past season. The SaberCats recently welcomed the return of DL Gabe Nyenhuis who is just two years removed from earning Defensive Player of the Year honors where he led the AFL with 15.5 sacks and nine forced fumbles. Nyenhuis is someone McGill has always thought a great deal of and has always wanted to play alongside, something he’s going to get the opportunity to do in 2012.
“He's the best at what he does. I feel like I'm the best at what I do and he's the best at what he does. That's what I like, he has his own style. When you put two really good guys together something is going to happen. I've wanted to play with Gabe and I'm excited to play with him. It's going to be impressive.”
Making the decision to come to San Jose after spending the past four seasons with the Tampa Bay Storm was an easy one for McGill because his ultimate goal each season is to win an ArenaBowl title. He knows his best opportunity will come with the SaberCats in 2012.
“That's where every guy wants to go. It was time for a change and I know a championship is coming. I always follow my gut and it was time to change where I wanted to go. On paper I don't see how that's not possible if everyone stays healthy. I don't see too many teams that can match up with us at least so far.”
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