OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) - Imagine you were offered a full scholarship to a college with just a 9 percent acceptance rate to play your favorite sport; imagine sharing that opportunity with your high school teammate and friend, and then imagine carrying on a family legacy that dates back generations.
That became a reality on National Signing Day for two Oxford High state champions.
Clay Cromwell and John Meagher grew up watching their fathers serve in the military. After signing their official letters of intent, both are following in their fathers' footsteps through football.
"I always wanted to serve my country and play football," Meagher said.
"It allowed me to serve my country through the United States Marine Corp. and also play football," Cromwell said.
In Cromwell's time with the Oxford High football team, he caught four passes for 60 yards, racked up five sacks, and 37 total tackles.
Meagher threw for 3,742 passing yards and 35 touchdowns, in addition to 1,729 rushing yards as the Chargers' quarterback.
But for them the opportunity to play for Navy is bigger than the game of football; it's about continuing a family legacy.
"It's a game really, preparing for the Academy is so much more than that," Cromwell said.
"He said, 'Dad I guess I don't need to break the family tradition.' He said you went to Navy and my brother went to Navy, so I guess I should go to Navy," Patrick Meagher said.
Although their parents wanted them both to go wherever they wanted, both are excited to remain teammates and life long friends while serving the country.
"When times are rough, to know that there's someone else you know well like Clay going through it and going there with a friend already, it's something you can rely on and it'll help out a lot," Meagher said.
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