Illinois in the mix with McGrew

Illinois in the mix with McGrew

Henry McGrew isn't afraid to mix it up at the line of scrimmage.

Or in the open field.

The junior from Blue Valley (Kan.) High School is the short-yardage quarterback for the Tigers.

That skill set allowed him to lead Blue Valley in rushing touchdowns (eight) and finish with 164 yards on 42 carries for a 6-5 team that lost in the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

But his offensive skill set isn't the reason Illinois recently offered the Class of 2014 prospect a scholarship.

McGrew, who checks in a 6 feet, 3 inches and 215 pounds, compiled 109 tackles and five sacks last fall from his outside linebacker position.

Linebacker is a priority for Tim Beckman and his staff when it comes to the Class of 2014, and McGrew was in town for the Illinois spring game on April 12.

Blue Valley coach Eric Driskel said McGrew likes the facilities at Illinois and the program in general, even with Illinois coming off a 2-10 season.

So far, Idaho and new coach Paul Petrino is the only other school to offer a scholarship to McGrew, who has interest from Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Nebraska.

Blue Valley is a school of around 1,500 students and sits a half hour south of Kansas City, Mo.

"Our league is very balanced and considered one of the best in the state," Driskel said. "We play in a 5A/6A league, which are the largest classes in the state."

Illinois didn't have a player on last year's roster from Kansas and won't for the 2013 season.

In fact, the last player from the Jayhawk state to play football at Illinois came in 1927.

Driskell didn't indicate when McGrew might make a decision or what exactly his biggest priority in choosing a college was, but is eager to see how McGrew develops in his senior season and what other schools take note of the linebacker.

"He is an easy-going kid and very mature," Driskell said. "He does a great job of managing both positions, (and) he had many great games this (past) season. But it seemed that as each game became more important he played better and better."


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CecilColeman wrote on April 25, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Linebacker?? If he can throw the football more than 10 yards downfield I'm all for him as a QB. It'd be quite an improvement.