At 5-6, 175 pounds, Sean McGrew can be easy to overlook. He had a very good regular season a year ago but took his game to completely different level for the Braves when the playoffs rolled around. You can make a strong argument that McGrew was the teams best player when Bosco knocked off Centennial, Mater Dei and then De La Salle in successive weeks to win Pac 5, SoCal Open Division and State Championships.
This past weekend, the Braves took on Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic and won going away 42-14. It was a sloppy 1st half with penalties and dropped passes and Bosco really struggled to find an identity. In the 2nd half, the Braves did what they do best, run the football and that's when McGrew completely took over the game.
Before having to exit in the 4th quarter with leg cramps, McGrew showed off his rare combination of quickness, top end speed, balance, instincts and surprising power. McGrew shows patience waiting for a hole to develop, than can explode up the field.
He has a great natural feel for the position and seems to just know where the holes will open and has the physical ability to run between the tackles or hit the home run. For a smallish back, he doesn't shy away from contact and always finishes off his runs falling forward. He runs much bigger than a sub 180 pound back and seems to get stronger the more he touches the ball.
Although McGrew didn't break off any of his trademark long touchdown runs against Central Catholic, he always seemed to be just a hair away from breaking it. Even more impressive, he was getting the tough 6, 7 and 8 yard gains consistently and when Bosco was down a touchdown early in the 2nd half, it was McGrew who helped the Braves take control and win the physical battles at the line.
Projecting McGrew to the next level has always been hard, simply because we haven't seen too many players similar to him in the past. Yes he's undersized, but his game breaking speed, ability to make people miss in the open field, hands out of the backfield and surprising toughness make him a very unique player. It may be tough to envision him as an every down, 20+ carry a game workhorse in college, but there is no doubt he can be an impact player for any program out west.
McGrew still has two more years to develop, put on more size and improve his speed. He was hoping to run a 10.9-100m in track this past season and ended up going 10.6. If he can continue to make the strides he's on pace for, he'll be a special talent in college for someone.