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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