College choice eases burden for Shawnee’s McCrory

Shawnee’s Jack McCrory makes a catch against Clinton-Massie last September in Springfield. McCrory has accepted a football scholarship offer from Ohio University. DAVID JABLONSKI / STAFF

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Shawnee’s Jack McCrory makes a catch against Clinton-Massie last September in Springfield. McCrory has accepted a football scholarship offer from Ohio University. DAVID JABLONSKI / STAFF

Jack McCrory’s high school football season got a little easier June 9.

That's when the Shawnee standout accepted a scholarship offer to play his college football at Ohio University . McCrory said he could have waited and fielded a few more offers, mostly from fellow Mid-American Conference programs, but having the decision out of the way helps him focus on his current team.

“It’s off my chest and I can just worry about high school football now,” said McCrory, who’ll play running back and linebacker for Shawnee as a senior.

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McCrory, 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, started his high school career at offensive tackle and defensive end for coach Rick Meeks. He transitioned to running back and linebacker and excelled at both as a junior. He finished second on the team in rushing with 667 yards and nine touchdowns on 103 carries for 6.5 yards per carry. He also caught 12 passes for 198 yards (16.5 yards per catch) and two touchdowns.

He ran for a season-high 155 yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns in a 42-21 win against Kenton Ridge in Week 7. He hauled in a season-high 126 yards on four catches with a touchdown in a 21-14 win against Urbana in Week 9.

At linebacker, McCrory led the Braves with 73 tackles. He had 41 solo tackles and 32 assists.

It was in his junior season that McCrory started thinking about playing Division I football.

“I think it was about halfway through my junior year. My sophomore year we had a pretty large team and I was an offensive tackle and defensive end,” he said. “We lost some guys that year and I was transitioned to running back and linebacker. I was successful and it took off from there.”

McCrory said he contacted coaches from Ohio and several other colleges to gauge their interest. He attended Ohio’s football camp about a month ago and got their attention. It was at Ohio State University’s camp June 9 that the Frank Solich-led Bobcats made the offer.

“At Ohio State they pretty much told me it’d come down to my 40 times,” said McCrory, who plans to major in criminal justice. “I broke into the 4.5s with a 4.59 and 4.60. They offered on the spot right after that.

“I’ve always been interested in Ohio for football. I’ve talked to them and I’ve been recruited by them for awhile. The process has just been developing. When they gave me that offer it was too good to give up. I took it and I’m not worried about it anymore.”

Ohio went 8-6 overall and 6-2 in the MAC East Division to share the title with Miami. OU played Troy in the Dollar General Bowl and lost 28-23.

Shawnee, meanwhile, is coming off a 6-4 season overall and 3-1 record in the Kenton Trail Division. Shawnee finished a game behind division champion Bellefontaine.

“We’re hoping for a CBC title and we always look for regional playoffs,” McCrory said of his final high school season. “I think we’ve got about 10 returning starters on the offense and about the same on defense. We’ve got a lot of returning juniors.”

McCrory will join his brother, Alex, as a college football player. Alex McCrory finished his senior season at Dartmouth College. He received the Frank Hershey Award to the player judged by his teammates to possess, according to the Dartmouth website, “a genuine zest for life, a story, upbeat attitude and a sincere desire to win because of his dedication and love for the game, his team and Dartmouth.”

Like his brother, Jack McCrory is also slated to play linebacker in college.

“It’s my favorite spot,” he said. “I’m expecting to get up there and secure a spot. That’s always the goal.”

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