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

collegeballfan

February 17th, 2012
8:58 am

If the people driving the train had any brains the kid would be allowed to sign this weekend on his visit.

Big Crimson 75

February 17th, 2012
9:03 am

Funny, I don’t feel “spurned”.

kingdaddy

February 17th, 2012
9:06 am

Coach Franklin I would suggest you not getting in CTGs face after we mess-up your boys unless you like eating from a straw. Don’t go crying to CMR the next time you put your boney finger in Granthams face and he decks you. Bang/Blame

RedandBlackDawg

February 17th, 2012
9:07 am

Good luck young man,

You will get your wish to compete against UGA and Alabama.

He would have been a depth recruit at his position for UGA so I think he made the wise choice, that will give him the best chance to see earlier playing time. QB is not a position of need for UGA right now. He has good height and probably needs to put on a couple of pounds to stay healthy in the SEC, but I am sure he will have the time to do that. I think their present QB has at least two more years.

......

February 17th, 2012
9:07 am

Ramsey runs a wing-t (meaning it looks a lot like tech’s “spread option”), McCrary runs a spread that utilizes his players athleticism. Many schools like Cedar Grove run this (MLK, Carver, etc.). Of Course Ramsey isn’t going to put up the great passing numbers.

SOUTH WILL RISE

February 17th, 2012
9:10 am

TECH IS A D-M JOKE!

kingdaddy

February 17th, 2012
9:10 am

BC75 Gonna change you name to Stone Cold…
Now be spurned damnit.

ledz

February 17th, 2012
9:11 am

Shady Franklin is at it again I see. Something is not right about that guy……

OkieDawg

February 17th, 2012
9:11 am

WvE, well stated. GT folks continue to hide behind that worn out excuse, “our academic requiments are just too strict”. Tell that to Dalvin Tomlinson and hundreds of smart kids that do not even consider GT. What QB that has a dream of playing on Sundays is going to a school that operates out of the antiquated Triple Option that runs the ball 60+ times a game and passes 12? What relative NFL experience would a QB gain from this offense? And why would any highly touted WR go to GT and hope to receive a pass when the game is lost and both the people in Bobby Dodd stadium knows they are going to pass. And before the Techers start a rebuttal based on one WR, Calvin Johnson, I submit he was an anomaly.

FL Jacket

February 17th, 2012
9:13 am

So wait a minute…does that mean the Shotgun Spread Option is a “high school offense”? It’s what most HS teams run isn’t it?

Tech doesn’t run the “Spread option”…they run the Triple Option with a base 2-WR set. The difference is huge…

Roll, Tide, Roll !!!!!

February 17th, 2012
9:14 am

Any football player who would choose ANY other school over Alabama is likely too dumb to even be on the field.

JDHGT

February 17th, 2012
9:14 am

Ramblin Man,

I’m a GT grad currently pursuing a PhD at Vandy. I can assure you that there is no “athlete” major at Vandy. You can find a list of all of the majors here: http://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/major/

Coach Franklin is really changing the football culture at Vandy. He is beginning to really scare some of the big boys in the SEC (see the comments on this blog as proof). I’ll be pulling for the ‘Dores–unless of course, they happen to play the Jackets.

FL Jacket

February 17th, 2012
9:15 am

No, Okie…

I can base it on Demaryius Thomas (1st WR taken in the 2010 NFL draft) and Stephen Hill (likely 3rd round pick this year). Oh, and Kevin Cone made the Atlanta Falcons roster despite on catching 5 passes in college. I think you need to find a new falsehood to latch onto…

jesseT

February 17th, 2012
9:16 am

do anybody agree with the kid from carver Hawkins I think is gonna be good on the next level

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 17th, 2012
9:17 am

Murray, LeMay, Ramsey – three reasons he did not choose UGA. Saban will still pressure the young man but he is a duel threat QB – not a drop back passer QB like Ramsey. Camden County runs the ball about 75% of the time so Ramsey’s stats won’t be as spectacular. Still, Ramsey had a 17 TD to 2 Interception ratio. LeMay should follow Murray unless Mason is given a chance in 2013. LeMay was ranked the #2 QB before he got in trouble with a girl and was kicked out of school. He hasn’t played in a real game in 2 years. Hopefully Richt will give LeMay a chance against the three cupcakes on their schedule to get the rust off. LeMay has remarkable accuracy and a very low interception ratio. 70+ pass completion %, 80+ TDs and only 4 interceptions! Give him a year and he will pushing Murray for the starting job. Even though LeMay is a drop back QB he can run a true 4.6 40. Glad McCrary is going any where but Bummer.

......

February 17th, 2012
9:17 am

FL Jacket

Its what most high school offenses run in the area of Atl. It gets the ball into players hands who run a 4.3. They do not run an I or an option or anything like that. It’s a 5 wide and they isolate their players….yeah the wing-t is the same set-up, not a HUGE difference

......

February 17th, 2012
9:20 am

Ran the Wing-T in high school and guess what, the formation its the exact same, minus the read option aspect

Bama Bill

February 17th, 2012
9:20 am

True will always hurt, Bama’s your BEST football program, but the mountains in north ga are pretty.

G'Vegas Dawg

February 17th, 2012
9:22 am

11 months away from signing day. If UGA wants him they’ll get him.

1eyedJack

February 17th, 2012
9:22 am

I don’t think this kid was getting much “love” from UGA. They already have their prize this recruiting cycle with Ramsey. If Murray decides to come back for his senior year Georgia will have 5 highly rated QBs on the roster.

kingdaddy

February 17th, 2012
9:23 am

Has he even been to the campus yet? Nashville Cats.

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 17th, 2012
9:23 am

Roll, Tide, Roll !!! You should not be calling the young man dumb. Vandy is a much better academic institution than Bummer. Your use of the word “too” was incorrect – should have been “to”. Even Bummer won’t take you without your GED…. have you thought about applying yourself and getting that GED?

bucket

February 17th, 2012
9:23 am

Count me as one Dawg fan who hopes McCrary has a fantastic career at Vandy. There is absolutely no reason or excuse to criticize a 17 year old kid for his college choice.

FL Jacket

February 17th, 2012
9:23 am

……

The idea of the shotgun spread is to get your best athlete the most touches. The difference is that Tech runs it as close to the LOS as possible, and utilitze the B-Back heavily. There isn’t generally a pitch schemed into the shotgun spread.

And since HS WR’s most likely can’t block, you run it out of the shotgun so you can quick-pass. The shotgun spread is a simplified offense for a HS skillset.

monty

February 17th, 2012
9:25 am

Go with your heart and stick to your commitment. Good luck!

Andy

February 17th, 2012
9:25 am

Enter your comments here

OkieDawg

February 17th, 2012
9:26 am

Fl Jacket, I see where GT got 1 WR in this years class of 17. It doesn’t seem they are clamoring to be part of the TO. I guess there just wasn’t any WR that could qualify academically.

......

February 17th, 2012
9:26 am

FL Jacket

Exactly so McCrary passing numbers are going to be much higher than someone who runs a wing-t. If Ramsey would of went to a different school, say lassiter, he would be putting up huge numbers because of his arm strength and release. But I will say his INT rate is so low bc he doesn’t throw

FL Jacket

February 17th, 2012
9:29 am

Okie…

What are you talking about? They got in this year’s class…

- Michael Summers (also had an offer from UF)

- Travin Henry (who got late offers from UNC and UF AFTER Tech committed him)

- Anthony Autry (AJC Gwinnett DB of the year, also offered by Arkansas)

Just because the WR isn’t Blake Tibbs or Jaquay Williams, doesn’t mean they don’t fit our offense or are good players.

OkieDawg

February 17th, 2012
9:31 am

Fl Jacket, And while at Florida, Tebow didn’t pitch out of the spread option? Are you kidding me, he pitched it all over the field on the option, including pitches to TE Aaron Hernadez…really now.

FL Jacket

February 17th, 2012
9:33 am

……

I would also say this…High schools don’t run I-formation lead draws, counters, and sweeps out of their offense. It’s an incredibly flexible and adaptive scheme if you get the right athletes.

OkieDawg

February 17th, 2012
9:34 am

Fl Jacket: Sumers recruited as a safety and Henry as an OLB. Don’t let facts get in your way.

Trey Ogletree

February 17th, 2012
9:35 am

Coach Franklin notches another one! He must have Richt and Grantham slugging the TUMS about now. Everything being pretty equal with the football programs now, the Vanderbilt degree should decide some of these recruiting battles as it did here. A Vanderbilt degree is better than any cosmotology/veterinary/forestry/armed robbery degree from Athens. Just saying.

Les W. Moore

February 17th, 2012
9:35 am

Since 1970, Vanderbilt football players could attend a school called Peabody Teacher’s College which is on the same campus as Vandy. This is not a rip on Vandy or Peaboby or Vandy football players but its to say that not all Vandy athletes become doctors or other advanced professionals.

FL Jacket

February 17th, 2012
9:35 am

Okie…

I wasn’t talking about UF…I was talking about high schools

Bulldog59

February 17th, 2012
9:37 am

His dad said, “We’re going to visit Vanderbilt on Saturday and see everything.” So, the kid committed before ever visiting the campus?

What is the over/under on how many times he will flip before February 2013?

If he stays with Vandy, that’s a tough place to call home in the SEC, but good luck to him.

FL Jacket

February 17th, 2012
9:37 am

Okie…

If you’re basing where guys get recruited off of A) recruiting websites, or B) where other schools with more conventional offenses run…that is your interpretation of the facts. CPJ in his NSD press conference said that those three were recruited to Tech to play WR. Only Autry might get a look on both sides of the ball, but for now he’s a WR.

Goliath

February 17th, 2012
9:38 am

And the legend of Brice Ramsey continues to grow.

Poor McCrary, couldn’t hang with the competition.

Ramsey must be even BETTER than we thought.

Goliath

February 17th, 2012
9:39 am

FRANKLIN = DOOLEY

Charles

February 17th, 2012
9:39 am

UGA had no chance once Ramsey committed. McCrary recently conducted an interview saying he wanted to be the only QB in his incoming class. I’m shocked he didn’t choose the Tide. Big upset.

slydog

February 17th, 2012
9:39 am

The kid just wanted to go to Vanderbilt and they showed him the most love early. All struggling football programs recruit and offer PSA’s earlier than the big boys. They have to. If he changes his mind, so what? What school and degree he receives has no bearing on success. It’s all up to him, mixed with a little luck. Simple as that!!!

slydog

February 17th, 2012
9:41 am

Enter your comments here

dawg-gone

February 17th, 2012
9:42 am

It means nothing anymore to commit a year ahead of time..Total BS till you sign the papers…The News Media loves this crap.

slydog

February 17th, 2012
9:43 am

Is a Lexus a better car than a Toyota? Nope. They both get you from point A to point B. The driving experience is from point A to point B may be different. BTW, Toyota makes Lexus. Get my point?

Big Crimson 75

February 17th, 2012
9:44 am

1. AJ McCarron — jr
2. Phillip Sims — soph
3. Phillip Ely — frosh
4. Alec Morris — incoming

shed no tears for us boys — I know it’s hard not too — we”ll be ok…..cough cough

Flipper

February 17th, 2012
9:47 am

Smart kid. He would never see the field at UGA or AL as QB. It will be funny when he flips next signing period….

FL Jacket

February 17th, 2012
9:49 am

BC75…

It’s hilarious you actually don’t consider that half those guys won’t be on the active roster in 1-2 years…

Bama Bill

February 17th, 2012
9:51 am

Congratulations – Hope the young man has a great career at quarterback or otherwise at Vandy ! The state of Georgia does develop some splendid football talent ! Hope that Bama will get a good number of solid players from Georgia again in 2012.

dcb

February 17th, 2012
9:51 am

Wow – so many Monday morning “quarterbacks” in these comments crying wolf. It almost shakes one’s faith. Give the kid some credit and wait to criticize his decision until signing day next year. Then see if he, or any of your favorite team commitments jump ship before you start proselytizing.

dawg-gone

February 17th, 2012
9:51 am

okie-dawg…your IQ is showing @ 9:11 AM