A couple of Lancaster-Lebanon League standout senior football players recently made verbal commitments to the colleges of their choice, including the 13th-leading passer in league history.
Warwick QB Joey McCracken, who finished his fine Warriors’ career with 5,791 passing yards, committed to Maine, a Division I FCS program in the Colonial Athletic Association.
McCracken, who missed some time behind center early this past season while rehabbing from a knee injury, took his football recruiting process extremely seriously this offseason; he did not come back out and play for Warwick’s basketball team this winter, instead focusing on earning a football scholarship — which he did.
Maine did not play this past fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Black Bears’ QB depth chart is overflowing at the moment, with six signal-callers listed heading into the 2021 season. That list includes a pair of Pennsylvania natives: Joe Fagnano, a sophomore from Williamsport, and Anthony Harris, a freshman from Nazareth. Fagnano threw for 1,835 yards and 17 scores in the 2019 season.
McCracken will be stepping into a crowded QB meeting room in Maine; he also mulled offers from Kutztown, IUP and Shippensburg — after an electric career for the Warriors. McCracken holds the L-L League record for most passing yards in a game, a sparkling 530-yard effort in a win over Wilson in 2018.
McCracken’s classmate, bruising tight end Thatcher Miller, is heading to the PSAC to play for West Chester. Two more L-L League all-stars also committed to PSAC programs: Manheim Township multi-purpose threat Cade Clancy and classmate Dan Engel both picked Kutztown, and Manheim Central specialist Nate Reed — who handled the punting chores and kickoff duties for the Barons — chose East Stroudsburg.
McCracken, who had a 2,900-yard passing season in his junior campaign in 2019, clicked on 75-of-121 passes for 1,312 yards with 11 touchdown passes this past fall, helping Warwick win the Section 2 championship and advance to the D3-5A title game. The Warriors had to forfeit the finale because of coronavirus concerns in the school, but McCracken was efficient behind center once he finally got back on the field.
McCracken was the Section 2 Offensive Back of the Year and a first-team all-star pick, and he was a repeat honoree on the Pennsylvania Football Writers All-State Class 5A team. He departs Warwick at No. 13 on the L-L League’s all-time passing chart.
Miller had a monster season for Warwick with 25 receptions for 414 yards — 16.6 yards per grab — with four TD catches. He was a Section 2 all-star, and he also earned PFW All-State Class 5A honors repping the Warriors.
Miller’s twin brother, rugged RB Colton Miller, has offers from Lock Haven and Cornell. He was a PFW All-State Class 5A pick and a Section 2 all-star this past season.
Clancy had a terrific fall for Township, excelling at running back and linebacker for the Blue Streaks. The dual-threat had 82 carries for 531 yards (6.5 yards per pop) with nine TD runs, and he caught 19 passes for 233 yards with four TD grabs out of the backfield. Clancy also piled up 50 tackles from his LB spot, with four stops for losses, a pair of sacks and two QB hurries. He was tabbed Section 1 Linebacker of the Year.
Engel was another dual-threat performer for Township; he hauled in 11 catches for 154 yards with three TD receptions from his wideout spot, and he was in on 30 tackles with a pick and a pair of pass breakups from his DB spot. Engel was a Section 1 all-star selection, and he'll join his classmate at KU.
After making the rounds on the Kohl’s Kicking Camps circuit last year, Reed had a solid season for Central, averaging 33.1 yards per punt, with five boots downed inside the 20. The Section 2 first-team all-star punter, Reed also boomed 18 touchbacks on kickoffs, continuing the Barons’ long line of successful specialists.
NOTES: Cocalico junior O-line standout Ryan Brubaker is up to 13 offers; he added Dartmouth, Liberty and Monmouth over the last week, to go along with Miami (Ohio), Princeton, Harvard, Army, Columbia, UPenn, Yale, Kent State, UMass and UConn. … Lampeter-Strasburg junior LB Nick Del Grande, a PFW All-State Class 4A pick who helped the Pioneers defend their D3-4A title, announced that he also has an offer from Army. … With McCracken off the board, all eyes will shift to L-S senior QB Sean McTaggart — the reigning PA Football News Class 4A Player of the Year and a PFW All-State pick — who recently picked up an offer from IUP, to go along with East Stroudsburg, Lock Haven, Wagner, Monmouth, St. Francis and Sacred Heart. ... Could yet another L-L League standout be PSAC-bound? Hempfield multi-purpose threat Tanner Hess, the reigning Section 1 Offensive Back of the Year, has a pair of PSAC offers in his back pocket, from Kutztown and West Chester. Stay tuned.