There are many talented quarterbacks who dot the top of numerous college programs’ wish lists in the Class of 2016. One resides in Pennsylvania.
Brandon McIlwain hails from Newtown, Pa., where he directs the offense at Council Rock North. His offers list now bulges well over 20.
“I try to keep up with the coaches every week, and try to talk to them a lot,” McIlwain said. “Certain schools I’ve been to stood out a little more than others, but I have a bunch of notes and pictures I’ve taken.
“I need to do more of an evaluation and narrow my list after my last visit.”
This summer has been a busy one for the 6-foot-1, 212-pound four-star. He and his family have stopped at Miami, Florida, Auburn, Duke, Ohio State, North Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
The latest stop was in State College Saturday for Penn State’s final Senior Elite camp of the summer. He’ll round out his summer by hitting South Carolina and possibly one (or more) of Virginia, Michigan State and/or West Virginia.
“I mean, it was a great trip,” McIlwain said of the stop at PSU. “It was good to be able to compete with some good quarterbacks and be coached by [Penn State quarterbacks] Coach [Ricky] Rahne and talk some football after.”
McIlwain was joined by New Jersey four-star Jarrett Guarantano as the top passers at the day’s camp. The duo has seen each other plenty this summer, including at Ohio State.
Saturday, they both worked under Rahne’s watchful eye. McIlwain said he came away impressed with the first-year assistant.
“He just seemed like a real smart coach, a big teacher of fundamentals, and he also talked about the way their offense enables the quarterback to make decisions,” McIlwain said.
As for head coach James Franklin, the passer said he offered a pitch related to proximity.
“He really just expressed how much he really wants me to come to Penn State,” McIlwain said. “I’m an in-state kid, so dominate the state and the area and all of that.
“He really had good things to say about how much he values my grades, my family situation and everything. It was a really good conversation. He went to one of my rival [high] schools, so it’s always fun to talk and joke about that.”
At Ohio State, McIlwain said he was presented with an opportunity to speak more in-depth with head coach Urban Meyer, quarterbacks coach Tom Herman and co-offensive coordinator Ed Warinner. The junior said that made the trip to Columbus a successful one.
“Ohio State was a good visit,” McIlwain said. “Another camp with good talent, and I really liked the camp itself. It was well organized, and I threw with good receivers.
“I got to talk to the coaches and got a little more of a feel for the coaching staff. It was nice to be able to get up there and talk to everyone.”
A state championship is the junior’s goal for the 2014 season, which pairs nicely with his mission to “be the best that I and we can be.”
McIlwain added he would like to commit after his junior year is completed, saying it could come anytime between December and the days leading up to his senior season.
“It’s great to be getting looks early because it makes it a lot easier for me,” he said. “Now, I need to see these schools this summer.
“It gives me the ability to commit earlier and help whatever school I choose recruit, and also be able to go visit.”