McKenna hurts teams with his legs and his arm

One of the top athletes at the quarterback position this year is Lackawanna's A.J. McKenna (6-2, 220) and he's ready to parlay that talent into another championship for the Falcons and some BCS scholarship offers for himself. McKenna spoke to recently and he talked about recruiting and also what his focus has been on this offseason as he prepares for his sophomore season.

"We've been throwing a lot this summer," McKenna said recently. "My receivers are really talented and we just go out and work on our timing and the routes and just honing our skills so we can be the most effective we can possibly be."

McKenna's size and speed make him a dual-threat quarterback, but he's worked hard to continue to develop those skills to make him a multi-dimensional player.

"I want to hurt teams with my legs and my feet," McKenna said. "Back in high school (Scranton) I was basically a drop-back, pro-style quarterback and then when I got here I really started to get faster and bigger so they kind of roll me out a lot and just let me make my reads and stuff like that.

"This summer I've been in the film room all day practically every day just looking at defenses, what they try to do, their tendencies and just making sure I know where my reads are supposed to be.

"I also want to get my speed down a bit (he runs a 4.55) and to get my arm stronger."

As a freshman for Lackawanna, McKenna completed 55% of his passes for 1,200 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions while also putting up 300 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.

"We are a running team so you don't get a lot of chances to throw the ball, but when you're successful you have to stick with what works best," McKenna said. "I only threw the ball like 11 times per game but we won all our games and that's really what matters the most because it's all about the team."

Head coach Mark Duda knows what he has in his second-year signal-caller.

"He can make all the throws and he's really accurate, whether he's throwing on the run or standing strong in the pocket," Duda said early this summer. "He's really great at throwing on the run because he keeps his eyes up, but he also has great mechanics that help him put it right on the money. He can also make something out of nothing when things break down."

Even with McKenna's limited passing attempts, schools from all over flocked to Lackawanna's Scranton, Pennsylvania campus during the spring to get a look at the athletic signal-caller.

"Western Carolina is my only offer right now, but I have gotten a lot of interest from North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Boston College and Rutgers," McKenna said. "Basically, all the schools that recruited me in high school are the ones that are recruiting me the hardest right now.

"They all said they want to see some more of me as a quarterback and see my improvement before they will offer me, but they all said they are very interested and high on me."

McKenna was a late qualifier out of high school so he can leave at any time and he expects to finish in December and he'll have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

We'll have more from this multi-talented quarterback as the season gets underway.

A.J. McKenna Scout Profile

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