10 things: Santa Margarita RB Jeremy McNichols

Utah commit Jeremy McNichols was Lakewood’s go-to wide receiver a season ago. This year, he’s carrying the rock for legendary head coach Harry Welch and Santa Margarita (0-1).

Welch says he’s a better running back than he is a wide receiver. That’s saying a lot considering McNichols was a first team All-Moore League performer at receiver a season ago.

In an impressive debut last week in the season opener at Bishop Amat, he rushed 21 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

On Friday, Santa Margarita hosts Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) at 7:30 p.m. on Prime Ticket.

Here’s 10 things you may not know about the, now, Santa Margarita tailback.  

J-Mac
The nickname has stuck with McNichols since his freshman year at Lakewood.

Late night snack
If it’s late in the night and McNichols is looking for a snack. He goes with fruit snacks.

“I like the mixed berry,” he said.

Favorite team
As far as basketball goes, McNichols loves the Lakers. On the gridiron, he has to roll with the Baltimore Ravens.

“I just like the way Ray Lewis took the Ravens from nothing to something and the way they’re defense plays — Ed Reed all those boys when they were together,” McNichols said.

Favorite movie
In true football fashion, McNichols’ favorite movie is “Friday Night Lights.”

If you could accomplish something in any sport, what would it be?
Surprisingly, for McNichols, it wouldn’t be catching or running for the winning score in the Super Bowl — he’d go to the hardwood.

“I would want to hit the game-winning shot in game 7 for the championship,” he said.

It’ll be a buzzer beater with him wearing the Purple and Gold of the Los Angeles Lakers, McNichols says.

Biggest fear
“Losing a loved one,” he said.

Pregame ritual
It’s all about focus for McNichols before the start of a game. Like many athletes, he always listens to music but he does other things to get his mind right.

“I always listen to Ray Lewis speeches before games,” he said. “I always look at Brian Dawkins highlight tape.”

No. 6                                         
McNichols wore No. 6 during his early days at Lakewood and is back wearing it now in the blue and gold of Santa Margarita.

“During Pop Warner I wore (No.) 26 when I was playing running back,” McNichols said. “My freshman year, since they moved me to receiver, I didn’t want to wear 26 as a receiver so I just took No. 6 because that was one of the numbers in 26.”

Favorite player
During this time of the year, he’s likely the first wide receiver taken in fantasy football drafts around the country. If you go by “Megatron” you’re clearly doing something right. Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson has won over many NFL fans, including McNichols.

“He’s just bigger, faster, stronger than everybody else,” the Santa Margarita running back said. “You can’t really touch him.”

What game do you get up for the most?
“When I was at Lakewood, it was (Long Beach) Poly,” he said. “This year I would probably get up most for (St. John) Bosco and Mater Dei.”