Pat McAfee Tells Wild Story of How He Earned a Scholarship Offer to West Virginia

    Pat McAfee shares a story of how a poker tournament helped him land a scholarship to West Virginia just one month before National Signing Day.

    Pat McAfee has quickly become one of the hottest sports media personalities in America.

    Just a few short years after launching The Pat McAfee Show via social media, it is licensed and aired on ESPN, making McAfee one of the highest-paid sports media figures ever. He also appears on well-known ESPN programming such as First Take and College GameDay.

    McAfee’s quick rise in sports media could allow some to forget that he played eight seasons in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts, who drafted him out of West Virginia in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

    Just recently, McAfee shared his wild story of how he wound up at West Virginia in the first place.

    Pat McAfee Tells Wild Story of How He Earned Scholarship to West Virginia

    McAfee joined the All the Smoke podcast and shared the unusual way that he was able to land a scholarship.

    McAfee explained that growing up when the World Series of Poker was a huge deal and televised on ESPN, everyone within less-fortunate communities like Plum, Penn., where he grew up, learned how to play poker with aspirations of getting rich.

    While already having an offer to kick at Kent State in high school, McAfee was presented with an opportunity to kick at a college showcase in Miami, Fla., hosted by Mike McCabe, a famous kicking and punting trainer and the owner of “One On One Kicking.”

    Getting McAfee from Pennsylvania to Florida would’ve cost his family about $1,500. His father was a truck driver, and his mother was a secretary, making that an unreasonable amount of money to come up with in a short amount of time.

    “So I am somebody, I think, would prove to be the case throughout the rest of my life, like, ‘Let me see if I can make this happen or not,'” McAfee said of his drive to fund his own way to Florida for the showcase.

    McAfee got wind of a big poker tournament happening in the basement of an Italian restaurant in a town that he grew up in. He was able to borrow $100 from one of his friends, entered the tournament, and turned it into $1,400.

    While this was certainly an unorthodox way to fund a trip for a college showcase, it paid off bigger than just one poker tournament. McAfee ended up winning the camp, receiving a scholarship to West Virginia the next day, and the rest is now history.

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    “You’re talking about one of the dumbest situations of all time,” McAfee said.

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