Coach Spotlight: Tanner McEvoy

As the offensive coordinator for area rival Don Bosco Prep, Nunzio Campanile took notice of Tanner McEvoy's remarkable athleticism when his school played Bergen Catholic High School. Last year, Campanile accepted the head coaching position at Bergen Catholic and decided to make a bold move with McEvoy for his senior season.

"I've know Tanner for quite awhile," said Campanile. "He was a tremendous danger with the ball in his hands. I'd hold my breath and hoped somebody would tackle him. With Tanner's speed an athletic ability he's someone who the defense always needs to account for."

During his sophomore and junior season, McEvoy had established himself as a top wide receiver, statistically the best in school history. However, Coach Campanile had other ideas on how to extract the best out of McEvoy's versatility.

"Tanner played quarterback on the Freshman team," said Campanile. "So he had experience at the position. The idea was to get the ball in Tanner's hands 50 times a game as opposed to four or five."

Campanile called McEvoy's senior season "phenomenal." McEvoy threw for 2,264 yards and 32 touchdowns and ran for 1,196 yards and 14 touchdowns and was the Offensive Player of the Year in New Jersey (non-public). He lead the Crusaders to the state title game for non-public schools against powerhouse Don Bosco Prep. Despite 408 all-purpose yards from McEvoy, Bergen Catholic fell 37-27 to finish No. 2 in the state.

"He was really a fast learner," Campanile said of McEvoy's success at the position. "Tanner has great footwork and is an excellent passer who can make all the throws. For someone his size (6-5, 208), he's very elusive. He's committed himself to the position and really what he wants to be at the next level."

McEvoy had plenty of colleges after his services. After looking carefully at in-state Rutgers, Michigan, North Carolina, he chose to give his verbal pledge to South Carolina.

"Tanner was hearing from Rutgers and Miami as far back as his sophomore year," said Campanile. "I think he liked Coach (G.A.) Magnus and Coach Spurrier. He went to camp down there and really liked it. His mom graduated from there, so that probably weighed in on the decision as well."

McEvoy comes from a athletic family. His father was a baseball player, his mother a swimmer, and his older brother, Colin McEvoy, played fullback at Rutgers.

"The kid lives to compete," Campanile said. "I'm also his teacher in physical education, and he was out there playing soccer like it was the World Cup. Tanner's got a great sense of humor. He's a good kid. When he leaves, he'll definitely have left his mark on the program."

On signing day, Coach Campanile saw seven of his players sign with Division 1A or AA programs. After the big day, McEvoy is gearing his attention towards preparing himself to become SEC ready.

"He's working out and training hard," said Campanile. "He's doing a lot of throwing. He knows when early summer comes, football becomes a full-time job."

Tanner McEvoy plans to graduate with his class on June 1st. He wore No. 9 for the Bergen Catholic Crusaders located in Oradell, N.J.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories