It has been a long summer already for Greg McElroy. The Southlake (Tex.) Carroll High School quarterback has visited and camped at eight schools in six states, spanning four time zones: Stanford, Texas, Texas Tech, Alabama, Tennessee, SMU, Oklahoma State and BYU. He additionally has paid an unofficial visit to Ole Miss.
But these days, he has his full focus on his high school team, which is looking to defend their state championship and national prominence. McElroy and the Dragons are this weekend in College Station for the Texas State 7-on-7 Championships. The 6'2" 212-pound signal caller may have spent a good deal of time on the road this summer, but he is also putting in the hours with his teammates, leaving him confident as his senior season approaches.
"Right now, I feel really good about the team," he opines. "We've had a really good summer and worked together. We've made big strides, not only in how we connect during seven-on-seven, but also how we have become friends. Right now, we're as good as we can be."
Not many of McElroy's friends have experienced the national spotlight and scrutiny that the Carroll quarterback has held in recent months. Though he has yet to start a game under center for his high school team, McElroy is being evaluated by top programs from coast to coast. Not one to shy away from pressure, the Texas talent has risen to the occasion. Despite his lack of game experience, he has earned scholarship offers thus far from Texas Tech, Kansas, UTEP, UNLV, Ole Miss, BYU, SMU and North Carolina.
"I've been all over the country going to camps," he describes. "I've developed more consistency. My arm strength is improving and I'm getting in better and better shape. I've really worked on my footwork and my release. My release is a little slower than some guys, so I'm speeding that up. But no matter what I'm doing, I still stay focused on my accuracy."
One of McElroy's more recent stops on the camp circuit brought him to the West Coast for the Cardinal. It was McElroy's second trip to The Farm in recent months, following his visit for Stanford's Junior Day in late May. That earlier trip afforded him the opportunity to see the campus and learn about the school and football program. His time at Stanford's overnight camp was all business.
"My goal was to try and get noticed," he describes. "I really wanted the Stanford coaches to feel good about me, and also for me to feel comfortable with the coaching staff."
McElroy was on campus for three of the four days of the camp, missing the first while he was in Las Vegas for an invitational tryout for the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp. He looked remarkably polished, almost shockingly so, for somebody without high school starting experience. He is poised, has sharp mechanics and a strong understanding of the game. McElroy is not a "project" recruit, by any means.
But when you listen to him talk about his camp experience on The Farm, you would think he had spent three days killing worms.
"To be honest, I was really disappointed in myself," McElroy laments. "I really can do better. My accuracy and consistent spin just weren't there. It was just an off day. I don't like to make excuses, though. It wasn't all bad... I accomplished my goals - to give the Stanford coaches a chance to work with me."
His self-effacing comments about his workouts notwithstanding, McElroy moved himself up the Cardinal quarterback recruiting board.
"Coach [Walt] Harris said he liked my strong arm, and he liked my competitiveness during Cardinal Ball, which is as big a compliment as I can receive," the recruit recalls. "They are recruiting two quarterbacks in the country right now, and I'm in that two. It's me and Alex Loukas."
"That makes me feel good, even after I didn't perform at my best. I think they like me, and I like them," McElroy adds. "Right now I am in the process of filling out the application. It's kind of a grueling process. The application has four essays, and I've written one so far. I'm at the 7-on-7 Championships right now, but I'm working on it as fast as I can. I'll have it done in the next week or so."
While most of the top quarterbacks in the 2006 class have committed or are moving rapidly toward their college decision, McElroy still has limited exposure. Junior year film is the backbone of most national quarterback recruiting at the elite level, and it will take games this fall during McElroy's senior season before he can catch up with his brethren. Cognizant of that standing, he is in no rush.
"It's tough to say when and where I'll go with my commitment," McElroy maintains. "A lot of schools are looking at me, and I'm honored to have them look at me. Especially before my senior year. I'm keeping my options open for now. I'm trying to focus on my team and my senior season and not worry too much about recruiting."
That all being said, the Cardinal are in a strong position, should the Southlake quarterback complete his application and gain admission in the near future.
"Stanford is obviously one of my top schools, and they always have been," he proclaims. "I like Stanford a lot. If I get accepted and they offer, then I'll have to look at them pretty hard."
The Greg McElroy story has been motoring along for several months, but it still has several more chapters ahead. Stay tuned, as the Southlake standout moves from camp season into his senior season, and schools get a better look at the signal caller. We expect a good deal of news to still unfold with his recruitment.
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