Carnagio looks to build on Duel success


Carnagio looks to build on Duel success

Johnny Carnagio has been training with the Quarterback Farm, and when QBF joined forces with NFA earlier this year, the high school sophomore received an invite to last month’s Duel in Massillon, Ohio.
“It was my first time going to the Duel, and all I really knew was it was a quarterback competition,” Carnagio said. “I went into it thinking I want to win because if it’s a competition I want to win, no matter what. And with all the guys that were there, it was fun. It was a lot of fun.”
But it was also a competition, and Carnagio ventured out to Washington High School’s Paul Brown Stadium with his stated goal of being successful. In the Class of 2017 division, Carnagio finished in second place.
“It definitely gives me confidence heading into my season,” he said. “It was nice to see how I stood up against guys from all over the country.”

Varsity starter

The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder has been been standing up very well back home in Illinois as well. Even though he’s a sophomore, Carnagio is the starting varsity quarterback at Minooka High School, which is located on the outskirts of Chicago.
Carnagio is looking forward to playing at high school football’s highest level. “I’ve never really played in front of the big crowds and the environment we will be playing in,” he said. “But all the practices are helping me get prepared, the coaches know what they’re doing and everything’s making sense. I can’t wait for the season to start.”
Carnagio was very impressed with his first training session with NFA coaches at the Duel, and he gives QBF Coach Steve Gregory a lot of credit for getting him to the varsity level as a sophomore.
“Coach Gregory really helped me develp into a quarterback,” Carnagio said. “And last year, getting moved up to the sophomore team as a freshman, and this year, being moved up to the varsity as a sophomore, I feel I have the experience and I’m just ready.”
Playing with the sophomore team last season, Carnagio completed 95 of 165 passes for 1,451 yards and 18 touchdowns while leading Minooka to an 8-1 record (7-0 in conference).

Lofty goals

As the starting varsity QB this year, he has similar goals. “Obviously, I want to win and I want to win our conference,” Carnagio said. “That’s our team’s main goal, winning conference and going from there. I think it would be great to make the playoffs my first year on varsity just to get myself more prepared for the upcoming years.”
Carnagio is 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, so he has the size and strength to overcome his lack of varsity experience. “To a certain extent, the size is important,” he said. “I’m definitely tall enough to see over the line. But I don’t think that really matters a whole lot. As long as you know what you’re doing, what you’re reading, you have the have the arm strength, I think good size is just an additional bonus.”
With his standout arm strength, Carnagio should thrive in Indians’ spread offense. “I’m always in shotgun,” he said. “And with the spread, we pass more and that’s better for me. There aren’t any five-step drops, so it’s a matter of getting rid of the football as quickly as possible.”


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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University