McCartney Learning More than Football at Camp

Ivan "Sticks" McCartney is now one of the more widely recruited prospects in the country. The Miramar (FL) receiver is a big time talent with scholarship offers to every Florida school and most of the big names in the SEC and ACC. This summer he has taken in a couple of college camps that have really opened his eyes, but he has slowed the process down a bit.

It is a summer for getting better and Ivan McCartney is taking full advantage of what he can. He is working out with his teammates and also has been to a couple of college camps that have opened up his eyes to some things about the college experience.

"It's going great, we are doing some team work outs...some conditioning and lifting weights," McCartney said by phone on Monday. "I went to Pittsburgh and West Virginia about two weeks ago with some teammates. Weather wise it was a lot different, it was really nice. I don't even know what they thought about me."

McCartney's visit really wasn't about recruiting. It isn't that he doesn't have interest in West Virginia and Pitt, he is in contact with their staffs all the time. He wanted to see what college life was like away from the football field and the team itself.

"I talk to them all the time," he said when asked if he was getting the hard sell by the Pitt and West Virginia staffs. "On the trip I was just trying to get a feel for everything not really talk to the coaches or anything. I learned a lot about the atmosphere of college really."

One thing that kind of hit him and was a bit of a reality check is the fact that it is a major step away from the confines of home where he resides with his father.

"I really learned about how much freedom they have," he said. "It really just showed me that it's time to take adult actions. It is time to mature more than I am now. It really showed that it is a huge step."

The national champion Florida Gators have been the reported leader for some time for McCartney. However, he now says that there is no leader and a lot of teams are in the mix.

"I don't have any top schools, it's really open," he said. "At the time Florida was really the only school I was talking to. Now there is more and I will see who I am more comfortable with. I have about 25-26 offers with offers from UF, FSU, Miami, USF, UCF, and FIU. Georgia and Tennessee are two more that I have."

With all those offers and even more it is easy to get distracted from the first love so to speak. McCartney said he still has a great interest in Florida.

"Point blank, I love Florida," he said. "There is nothing specific, everything just sticks out to me. I went there for the spring game. I see that after Tebow leaves they will be throwing the ball more and less with the option.

Sticks also likes the Gators' receiver coach. Coach Billy Gonzales is known for getting tight with his positional players and has now earned a sterling reputation as a coach that not only puts players in the NFL, but also is being courted by NFL teams to coach at the highest level of football.

"Coach G has a warm heart, he is awesome," McCartney said.

One big offer might be looming for McCartney. The West Coast USC Trojans are after him now and it is getting heated.

"We have been talking to USC," he said. "They want me to come up to a camp."

In the end, when he makes a final decision on a school, his education and the feel for the people and the place around him are going to be most important to him.

"It's where I feel more comfortable, although I know I can get comfortable at more than one school," he said. "The academics will have to stand out and I want to major in business management or theater."

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