There haven't been a lot of players to suit up at Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar
Grove High School with the skill set of quarterback Johnathon McCrary.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound signal-caller epitomizes the term "dual-threat" with his
terrific combination of size, speed an throwing ability.
But while McCrary is clearly a different caliber of player, he still wanted to
do something that no player at Cedar Grove had ever done -- earn a spot on the
Army All-American Game roster.
After officially accepting his jersey in front of family, friends and
teammates on Monday, McCrary has achieved his goal of making school history.
"Not only am I the first from my school, I'm a pioneer," McCrary said. "No one
can ever come along and say they're the first to earn this honor."
McCrary said he credits an attitude adjustment and a commitment to hard work for
the main reasons he's achieved success both on the field and in the classroom.
"I've been working hard to get to this point," McCrary said. "My main goal right
now is helping my team get better every week and making sure that I'm ready for
the All-American Game because I want to go into it in top shape."
With many of the nation's top players participating in the All-American Game
every year, McCrary said he's well aware of what being added to the roster
means. However, just because he's considered one of the top talents in the
country, doesn't mean he's resting on his laurels.
"I just know I have to keep working and stay humble," McCrary said. "And I know
all the stuff I've done will continue to pay off."
While he was hotly pursued following his junior season at Cedar Grove, McCrary
quickly made a decision on where he wanted to play college football, committing
to Vanderbilt back in February.
He's yet to budge from his commitment and, other than his visit for the
Commodores game against Florida on Oct. 13, he won't be visiting any other
McCrary said one of the main reasons he chose Vanderbilt was because of the
honest approach of coach
James Franklin and he wouldn't feel right if he did
anything other than return the favor to his future coach.
"Going through the recruiting process can be one of the toughest things you
face," McCrary said. "You have so many people pulling you in different
directions and telling you want you want to hear but at Vanderbilt they were
honest and told me the truth and that's something I really appreciate."
When he committed, McCrary was the first member of VU's 2013 class. Now, eight
months later, the Commodores have the 16th best class in the country and are on
pace of have the highest-rated class in school history.
"I think they have a lot of quality guys on the team now that have a lot of
things they can teach us," McCrary said. "The recruits coming in are just going
to add to that. We're going to be a part of building something great, and we're
lucky to be a part of the program."
While he'll have to wait to get on campus at Vanderbilt, McCrary has his sites
on helping Cedar Grove make more history, this time as a team.
"We got off to a slow start but we're turning it around," he said. "Once you
lose people are going to doubt you but I'm the quarterback and I have to stay
level and deal with the adversity and try to lead this team to the playoffs."