After the last University of Washington play call is made, and the final block is finished off, starting offensive tackles Trey Adams and Kaleb McGary can go back to being themselves.
They are the Huskies’ residential country boys.
In fact, one of them — McGary, the 6-foot-7, 318-pound right tackle from Fife — is better known around the team as “Big Country.”
And if the other — Adams, the 6-foot-8, 327-pound left tackle from Wenatchee — wanted such a nickname, he could be “Big Mountain.”
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McGary and Adams are two peas in a pod, always looking for an opportunity to get away to hike, fish or hunt.
“Honestly, it’s great to have somebody you can trade tales with — someone you can talk to about the same stuff that doesn’t have to do with football,” McGary said. “I love football, man. But it gets old after the 11,000th hour of talking about the same thing all day.”
McGary is the easy one to identify among his teammates. He is always wearing a ragged Stetson cowboy hat his father gave him as a teenager.
Before he moved to Fife, McGary and his family lived on a farm in Amboy, the small town where the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters is located.
That is where he picked up a hobby: Extreme survival skills.
“I’d come home from school, and I’d be gone,” McGary said. “I’d disappear for hours.”
He would hike up into the hills to build shelters or start a campfire without using a match.
“I can only imagine what happens with him,” UW quarterback Jake Browning said, “in the middle of nowhere.”
McGary is also an avid turkey hunter north of Spokane with his recurve bow, and last summer, he spent a lot of time on the river fishing not far from where he worked a summer internship.
“I caught a couple of trout, but then I released them,” McGary said. “I love eating fish, but I hate the fish stink that I have to clean off my knives.”
Not surprisingly growing up in Wenatchee, Adams does most of his duck, goose, pheasant and deer hunting in Eastern Washington — right around Quincy in Grant County.
“That is heaven away from home,” Adams said.
Adams said that the two junior linemen have not gone on a hunt together, mainly because “we don’t have a lot of time to do that kind of stuff.”
“We talk about it as much as we can,” Adams said. “And then we visualize it.”
Right before the start of preseason camp, new UW offensive line coach Scott Huff invited his starting tackles over to his house in Redmond.
McGary asked if he could bring his hunting bow, which Huff discouraged.
“We had some bears running around at the time,” Huff said. “I think they thought we would have a full-on hunt in the backyard for squirrels and bears. I don’t know if the neighbors would appreciate that very much.”
Huff likes hunting, too, and said he is trying to plan a trip for the three of them in January after the season ends.
“It is cool,” Adams said. “We are both small-town guys who love football and have similar interests other than football.”