For a quarterback that has yet to play a down of high school football as a junior, Newtown (PA) Castle Rock quarterback Brandon McIlwain is getting used to thanking college coaches for extending a scholarship.
Holding five offers by the beginning of February, including some impressive offers from Penn State, South Carolina and UCLA, the 6-1, 204-pound sophomore has seen his list rise to 22 by the middle of May.
"I'm definitely still excited with each one," McIlwain told BadgerNation. "I can't help but be excited with each opportunity to play college football."
With a quarterback (Austin Kafentzis) already verbally committed for 2015, Wisconsin offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig has spent the majority of May evaluation high school sophomores. Ludwig had previously reached out to McIlwain's coach before venturing to his school in mid May, but had not had any contact with McIlwain until watching him throw. That was enough for UW's second-year play caller.
"From what they (Wisconsin) has told me, they said the arm strength was good, they liked my footwork and they liked my athletic ability," said McIlwain. "They really see that I am not just a running quarterback. I like to pass first and that passing is my main threat."
McIlwain passed for 1,446 yards and 20 touchdowns as a sophomore, but did his damage mostly in a no-huddle, spread offense. That made his goal this spring to show coaches that he can fit a variety of different offenses.
"I can see myself in any offense," said McIlwain. "I feel I can thrive in a pro style or a spread offense."
The nephew of former Clemson tailback and seven year NFL veteran Tracy Johnson, McIlwain says he's trying to keep up with each coaching staff who has offered him with a weekly phone call.