McCray Goes The Extra Mile

Following most Brookville High football practices, Zack McCray finds assistant coach Randy Nichols to get in some extra work.

The two will go over schemes, catch balls, and do any extra homework that will give Zack McCray a competitive advantage.

"He's been a big help to me personally," the 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end/tight end from Lynchburg, Va., said.

This spring or summer, Nichols may help McCray out with a ride.

Nichols has a brother that lives in the South Bend area, and with the amount of recent interest McCray has been receiving from the Notre Dame coaching staff, he feels the Irish could end up being his next offer.

"He hasn't told me about the school, but he has said something about going up there and taking a visit," McCray said of Nichols.

All the added work with Nichols paid off this past season, In helping lead Brookville to a 13-1 record and a spot in the state championship game, McCray racked up 81 tackles, including 20 sacks, nine more quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. He scored a defensive touchdown by interception and fumble recovery. On offense, in a system that doesn't use the tight end much as a pass catcher, McCray hauled in all 10 passes thrown to him for 159 yards and two touchdowns.

McCray is up to 11 scholarship offers, picking up full-rides from the coaching staffs at LSU, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Boston College, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Duke.

UCLA and Notre Dame have also been in regular touch with McCray.

"I've been emailing back and forth with (Irish assistant) coach (Ron) Powlus," McCray began. "He said they've been evaluating my film and they like what they see. He says I'm a good athlete and I can play on both sides of the ball."

McCray would love to add an offer from Notre Dame to the list.

"They're definitely a well-known school, and they have great tradition," McCray said. "It's not a big school, something like 8,500 students, so if I went there, the classrooms would be relatively small giving me a good learning environment. It's one of the top academic schools year after year, as well as great football. They brought in more great recruits this year.

"I don't know a whole, whole lot about Notre Dame, but I know they have a strong tradition, and normally a good team, and they play against some of the better teams in the nation year after year. I think that's a big plus along with the fact they're on national TV every time they play."

McCray has a 3.45 GPA, and is looking to major in business or communications. He'd like to make a college verbal commitment sometime before his senior season.

"Hopefully I can get out and see everything I need to see and make a commitment as soon as I can," McCray explained, adding he has no preference what side of the ball he plays on. "That way I can help my recruiting class and everything. I can't put an exact date on it. I'm definitely not going to wait until signing day.

"My biggest thing I'm looking for will probably be the education, and what I can do after my college is over with. I want to be able to succeed in football, and also succeed in the classroom. I want to have as many job opportunities waiting, and internships, but I also want to be able to compete and succeed on the football field."

So far, McCray has taken visits to North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Tennessee. He is scheduled to go to Maryland this Friday, and after that, McCray has nothing setup.

"I know we've been trying to plan visits out, and hopefully I'll be able to get up to Notre Dame in the spring and summer and see what it's like up there." Top Stories