August 10, 2011

Future Forecast: QB Johnathan McCrary

The University of Alabama missed on a couple top quarterback prospects this year, but if the UA coaches are looking to land an elite quarterback in the 2013 class, their best bet may be dual-threat star Johnathan McCrary.

McCrary, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound quarterback from Ellenwood, Ga., picked up an offer from the Crimson Tide at the beginning of the year and now has close to 25 offers before ever taking a snap as a junior.

He recently visited Tuscaloosa for UA's camp in July where he threw in front of the coaching staff and met with Alabama head coach Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Jim McElwain.

"One thing I like about Alabama is the environment," McCrary said. "Alabama has one of the greatest facilities in the nation. They showed me nothing but respect every time I came up there ever since I was a sophomore.

"The coaching staff is real good and nice people. They showed me a lot of attention and gave me a lot of respect. That's one thing I really like in a coach and as a person."

Each time the 2013 star signal caller has visited UA's campus, he's been blown away by the facilities and especially Bryant-Denny Stadium.

"The greatest thing about Alabama is when you come down that road and you see that stadium, and walking into that stadium and walking down that red carpet coming out of the tunnel. It's amazing," McCrary said.

McCrary plans to return for a game in the fall. In addition to Alabama, he also likes Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas and doesn't plan on making a decision until after his senior season.

As a sophomore at Cedar Grove High School, McCrary threw for 3,400 yards and 27 touchdowns while also rushing for 700 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 'dual-threat' star would tell you he'd rather throw the ball more times than not.

"I'm more of a thrower," McCrary said. "Most people say I'm dual-threat because I rushed for 700 yards, but most games, I stay in the pocket because that's the main job of a quarterback to get the ball to the wide receivers."

If the name of his high school sounds familiar to Crimson Tide fans, it's because Alabama commitment Brandon Greene also goes to Cedar Grove. Greene, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive lineman, blocks every game for McCrary. The two are not only teammates, but also best friends.

"Brandon's one of my best friends," McCrary said. "We went through a lot of things together. We went through a lot of adversity, as our coaches say, and we've gained that camaraderie to lead our team and contend for a championship in Georgia."

The two players roomed together while participating at Alabama's camp, and Greene wasn't shy about telling his quarterback where he should go to school.

"I'm talking to him strong about Alabama," Greene said. "He loves it, especially with me being his lineman this whole time in high school. He might want to follow me. Hopefully that's what he wants to do."

So much will Greene being in Tuscaloosa affect McCrary's decision?

"It doesn't really change it, but it gives me another thing to look forward to if I were to commit to Alabama," McCrary said.

This is part one of a three-part series featuring possible quarterback targets for Alabama in the 2013 class.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at [email protected]

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