Johnathan McCrary: 4-star QB spurns UGA and Alabama for Vanderbilt

(AJC)

Two Cedar Grove football stars are leaving the state to play college football. Senior OL Brandon Greene (left) signed with Alabama over UGA earlier this month, while junior QB Johnathan McCrary committed to Vanderbilt over UGA and Alabama (AJC)

One of the state’s top quarterbacks turned down UGA and Alabama to commit to Vanderbilt on Thursday night.

It was a surprising turn of events for Johnathan McCrary, the junior quarterback from Cedar Grove High School. He’s the son of former Atlanta Falcons tight end Greg McCrary, who played eight years in the NFL.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound McCrary had been thinking seriously about Vanderbilt, and made the abrupt decision to go ahead and commit to the Commodores after his high school basketball game on Thursday night.

“I don’t know why he did it tonight,” the elder McCrary told the AJC. “We played [defending state champion] Columbia in basketball and it was an uphill battle. Johnathan thrives on competition. He knows Vanderbilt doesn’t have the same football tradition as some of the other schools that were recruiting him. But he said before he leaves Vanderbilt, he wants to make an impact. He wants to play against an Alabama or Georgia and make an impact.”

Even Vanderbilt coach James Franklin was surprised to get the call on Thursday night. The Commodores felt good about their chances but not closing the deal this early. “[Franklin] couldn’t believe it,” the elder McCrary said. “We’re going to visit Vanderbilt on Saturday and see everything. But he couldn’t believe it. I mean, he couldn’t believe it. He was excited.”

McCrary had around 20 early scholarship offers, including Florida State, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Ohio State and Tennessee.

It was UGA and Alabama that finished tied as runner-up for McCrary.

UGA already has one QB commitment for next year’s recruiting class with Camden County’s Brice Ramsey. McCrary’s father claimed that Ramsey’s presence did not affect his son’s consideration of the Bulldogs. “No, that had no impact whatsoever. Not at all. Johnathan prides himself on competition. He has seen the other quarterbacks out there, and feels like he can compete against anybody. That had no impact on where he was going.”

This past season at Cedar Grove, McCrary completed 69 percent of his passes for 2,643 yards and 27 TDs with 9 interceptions.

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406 comments Add your comment

RabidDog

February 17th, 2012
6:42 am

goldwreck

February 17th, 2012
6:42 am

He’s looking beyond his playing days.I wish he’d thought more of GT.

RabidDog

February 17th, 2012
6:47 am

Let him sign the papers now. That way his name doesn’t come up 200 more times because he may change his mind. Oh wait, he decided to stick with his commitment. Never mind his HS coach thought he was going to change his mind. You know what, he was never really committed. His feelings were hurt because the coach didn’t call him enough. Whatever.

bigtime

February 17th, 2012
6:47 am

“No, that had no impact whatsoever. Not at all. Johnathan prides himself on competition. He has seen the other quarterbacks out there, and feels like he can compete against anybody. That had no impact on where he was going.”

That’s funny because in a recent interview, Johnathon McCrary said himself that he wasn’t going anywhere that was recruiting other QBs this year. Good luck to him at Vandy, where he will surely have them in contention for the Papa Johns Bowl year after year.

Beast from the East

February 17th, 2012
6:55 am

If you’re looking for an education, Vandy is the place to go.

Bryan

February 17th, 2012
6:57 am

Probably had a lot to do with Ramsey at uga and when saban told Ramsey’s coach he was the best he has seen this yr. That probably did it for ala, regardless of what is being said by pops. As far as life after football and the GT poster, that should be paul johnson’s recruiting pitch. ” GT where football doesn’t matter”

ToccoaDawg

February 17th, 2012
7:07 am

He will probably switch to Georgia State at the last minute.

Will

February 17th, 2012
7:13 am

Doesn’t mean a thing.

High school students and college football coaches are just like used car salesmen and politicians – what they say today is not a realiable predicter for tomorrow.

Saint Mark of UGA will “flip” this Vandy commitment IF he needs a quarterback. Can’t see why with Hutson Mason taking over for Murray after next year and at least two superstar quarterbacks sitting behind Mason if he doesn’t work out.

bigtime

February 17th, 2012
7:16 am

Andrew Bone @AndrewJBone : McCrary told me a big reason for him commitment was Vanderbilt’s plans to bring him in as the only QB in the 2013 class.

Ramblin Man

February 17th, 2012
7:17 am

No offense to my fellow GT fan, but depending on the major going to Vandy does not mean the kid is looking past his playing days. They have a new “athlete” major that even the kids majoring in it can’t tell you what it’s for. I have to give Franklin credit though he is doing a good job recruiting.

poopdawg

February 17th, 2012
7:18 am

Congrats Johnathan, and good luck.

Hunting Dawg

February 17th, 2012
7:19 am

Congratulations to the young man on making an excellent decision regarding his college years. Vanderbilt is a fantastic academic institution where he will get one of the finest educations available in the United States. Oh yeah, he also gets to play football!

Good choice young man, best wishes and Go Dawgs!

The Sham

February 17th, 2012
7:23 am

if it is an impact he’s looking for, it’s an impact he will find when Tree smacks him upside the head next year!

Kudos to Vandy for the get. It takes young leaders to step up like this to change things up there.

Hurt Kurbstreit

February 17th, 2012
7:24 am

That’s fine. I wish him the best but UGA really doesn’t need anyway.We are already compiling a logjam of excellent quarterbacks.

LakeDawg

February 17th, 2012
7:27 am

Taking Vandy to the PapaJohn’s Bowl can be every bit as satisfying as taking UGA to the Sugar Bowl.

Blackoutanyone?

February 17th, 2012
7:27 am

In a recent interview he made comments about being promised playing time at QB his first two years. That and he sounds like he is not interested in competition. So Vandy makes perfect sense. I wish him good luck. Roll Tide!

TennesseeDawg

February 17th, 2012
7:27 am

Hard to spurn UGA and Alabama when he didn’t have an offer.

Skydawg

February 17th, 2012
7:30 am

An education is what you make of it. And you don’t need a teacher or an institution to give it to you. More times than not it has a bias leaning to it anyway.

dawgmeister

February 17th, 2012
7:39 am

You can’t blame him for signing with Vandy. If he signed with UGA or Bama he’d be riding the pine if you would. I’m mildly surprised that he didn’t sign with Tech though.

Brice Ramsey NOT IN RIVALS TOP 100 is #249

February 17th, 2012
7:40 am

#80 Johnathan McCrary QB Ellenwood, GA
Cedar Grove
McCrary passed for more than 5,500 combined yards the past two seasons.
4 stars 6′3″ 180 Vanderbilt
#249 Brice Ramsey QB Kingsland, GA
Camden County
Ramsey threw 17 touchdown passes in 2011, and was only intercepted twice.
4 stars 6′3″ 195 Georgia

Brice Ramsey NOT IN RIVALS TOP 100 is #249

February 17th, 2012
7:42 am

UGA is stacking them deep and selling them cheap.

OkieDawg

February 17th, 2012
7:46 am

What? He had a chance to hone his skills under the tutulage of The Bobo. I do not understand how could he pass up such an oppotunity. Good luck at Vandy but don’t depend on Coach Franklin sticking around long…he’s looking for a bigger paying gig. It takes a lot of quid to feed Franklin’s ego.

7576DAWG

February 17th, 2012
7:47 am

It doesn’t matter how many touchdown passes you have in high school if once you get to college you never have time to throw the ball. I hope he can run because he will be doing that a lot in the SEC. I just don’t think the Vanderbilt offensive line will be able to protect him as well as some other offensive lines from other school’s in the SEC. Good luck to him. Study hard you will have that at Vanderbilt.

SomehereinGA

February 17th, 2012
7:49 am

My Dawgs will be fine, as will this recruit….good luck to him and congrats on the offer from Vandy.

TennesseeDawg

February 17th, 2012
7:49 am

Why didn’t the headline read “McCrary spurns Tech”?…….. that’s right, no one cares about Tech.

Better luck next time UGA

February 17th, 2012
7:51 am

Tide commit Reuben Foster trying to recruit nation’s top player. LaGrange, Georgia linebacker Reuben Foster is not only one of Alabama’s top recruits for the Class of 2013, he may also be one of their top recruiters.

Foster has told both ESPN and 247Sports that he is actively attempting to convince Nkemdiche to commit to the Crimson Tide.

“I knew where I wanted to go,” Foster told ESPN. “My family knew where I wanted to go. They love Alabama. I love Alabama. Plus, who wouldn’t want to get coached by Nick Saban and Kirby Smart? They’re NFL-style coaches.”

SickandTired

February 17th, 2012
7:51 am

Good for this young man and his attitude. He will receive an excellent education at Vanderbilt and he CAN make a difference. The fact the Dawg fans are already dissing him here just should reinforce to his family he doesn’t want any part of that circus in Athens. James Franklin will give him every bit as much guidance as Mark Richt ever will. How many people have Vandy either kicked off the team this offseason. How many have been arrested?

Better luck next time UGA

February 17th, 2012
7:55 am

“He was talking about Alabama like he wanted to commit right there. I was like ‘do it.’ I think he’s going to commit to Alabama.”

Foster, who visited Alabama for their first Junior Day event in January, is coming off a spectacular junior season in which he compiled 185 tackles, including 34 tackles for loss and 18 sacks. While he continues to be pursued by other schools, including the home-state Georgia Bulldogs, Foster reiterated in both interviews that he is firmly committed to the Tide.

OkieDawg

February 17th, 2012
7:56 am

In mid-January, Franklin kicked starting center Logan Stewart and RB Mitchell Hester off the team. That would be two this offseason. Does that answer your question Sicko? Next…

bulldogmaniac

February 17th, 2012
7:56 am

Funny how the article says that he “spurn UGA” when he didnt even have an official offer from them>
They have their guy in BR! This kid made a good choice because he would never see the field at UGA

Jimmy "Jam" Garvin

February 17th, 2012
7:57 am

Who in their right mind would want to play for the idiot James Franklin? Me thinks CTG will have an extra special plan for Vanderbilt next game. What is your prediction for the game with Vanderbilt Coach Grantham? “PAIN!”

roughrider

February 17th, 2012
7:58 am

McCrary did not want to compete against Ramsey.

The Truth

February 17th, 2012
7:59 am

@better luck next time – first of all congrats on your team winning its 3rd NC. karma will catch up sooner or later in regards to saban’s recruiting. you win some and you lose some, but pretty soon kids are going to realize bama screws quite along the way as well – an no one likes to be screwed by a bammer.

URnotUA

February 17th, 2012
8:10 am

Great get for Vandy!

Better luck next time UGA

February 17th, 2012
8:11 am

May the next 31 years chasing the NC be as successful.

Ben Jones

February 17th, 2012
8:17 am

Hope this will keep Franklin from pouting!!!! He wouldn’t see the field with all our stud QB’s in front of him anyway!

Joey

February 17th, 2012
8:20 am

…NOT IN RIVALS…,

give it a rest. Camden Co runs the WingT offense. That means it is running offense.

Brice Ramsey will not have great passing stats in high school.

What a doofus you are.

JD

February 17th, 2012
8:24 am

How could anyone stand listening to that punk coach Franklin everyday.

Brice Ramsey NOT IN RIVALS TOP 100 is #249

February 17th, 2012
8:31 am

@Joey
So Bobo is going to teach him how to pass. I’ll take the #6 QB over the #25 rated QB.

Frankly

February 17th, 2012
8:36 am

Sounds like a good kid to me, good luck except when you strap ‘em up against the Dawgs.

DogDawg

February 17th, 2012
8:38 am

Franklin, the Vandy coach, is much too volatile for that institution & will surely get in hot water and leave long before McCrary finishes his 4 year there.

Red 4-Wheeler Nation

February 17th, 2012
8:39 am

If no one cares about Tech why do all the slack jaws obsess over them? Their inferiority complex is getting heavy…

Better luck next time Bama

February 17th, 2012
8:42 am

At Better luck next time…..You forgot that this kid also spurned Bama for VANDY..how’s it feel..he chose Vandy over the cesspool of the south.We got a QB commit and you don’t…Here’s betting that Ruben Foster never ends up at Bama.I’ve been told that he has a lot of catching up to do in the classroom…..but it doesn’t really matter does it?…..Bama will start its downward spiral next year and recruits will start jumping off your band wagon when Saban bails out because he can’t take the heat.

Real Problem

February 17th, 2012
8:44 am

I see this as more of an Alabama loss than Georgia. Not so sure it is a big loss for either school. IF Alabama somehow performs a miracle and gets the QB out of Washington and I would say they are one and done. Otherwise, I think the Tide will take two. Georgia just needs to hang on to the one they have .

boog

February 17th, 2012
8:45 am

Spurns UGA? If UGA wanted him they would have him. UGA chose Ramsey and committed. UGA is only taking one QB in this class. I dare say UGA was recruiting more than casually.

Better luck next time UGA

February 17th, 2012
8:48 am

31 years and counting. How long not long 62 years is a long time.

kingdaddy

February 17th, 2012
8:50 am

Franklin promised to teach him to fly the helicopter. Is it still painted UGA RED? I’m sure he will make an impact on the ground when our D gets their hands on him. Still, I wish him a good, healthy career.

Eaassyy

February 17th, 2012
8:54 am

Michael, you should know better than to ever post anything negative about the Crimson Tide in a recruiting article.

@Better luck next time UGA

February 17th, 2012
8:56 am

When the state of Alabama is finally able to field a team without a large percentage of their players being from GEORGIA then you can talk. But it has to burn you up inside knowing without the great state of Georgia you wouldn’t be able to even field a team against a lingerie football squad. ;)

WnE

February 17th, 2012
8:57 am

Make a MENTAL NOTE of this Recruit, 4* talent – Academic Qualifier for GT, 6-3 190lbs. “pass-first” QB.

There are PLENTY of these types of Recruits that play in the Metro Atlanta Area (pop. 5.5 Million people), that are Academic Qualifiers for GT that GT FAILS TO close on.

Then, after NSD, the smug, elitist, whining, complaining GT fanbase will claim it is the Recruits’ FAULT since most of them don’t qualify for GT.

CPJ is getting his A$$ handed to him in his own back yard, recruiting-wise.

This recruit has been EVALUATED by many other HCs to be able to play QB in college, whereas the recent QB Recruits that GT has brought in, ONLY GT & CPJ have evaluated them as QBs in college.

For all the HYPE over Vad Lee, only GT, Minnesota, Vandy & NC State wanted him as a QB, the REST wanted him as a WR/DB.

Dennis Andrews was only wanted as a QB by GT, the rest of the schools saw him as a DB.

Justin Thomas was told by Bama that he was wanted as a DB, and his 4* Rating coming out of HS was based on him being a DB or WR in college and NOT as a QB.

By recruiting QBs that ONLY GT sees as QBs, you end up with a very WEAK PASSING Game and then when you NEED to pass to win a game, you don’t have the QB that can get it done, especially when it comes to running a 2-min or 4-min offense.

This is WHY CPJ has been 14-12 over the last 2 seasons, my fellow GT fans might recognize this record as “the Chan Gailey equilibrium”.

Missing out on recruits like this QB is what is killing GT FB recruiting-wise!