Matt McCutcheon boosted by Duel success


Matt McCutcheon boosted by Duel success

Heading into the Duel last summer, Matt McCutcheon was focused on his upcoming senior season at South Granville High School in Creedmoor, N.C., and not much else. But when the 6-foot-1, 175-pound quarterback won NFA’s showcase event in Massillon, Ohio, he started thinking about taking his game to college.

“Playing at the next level or not, I was always contemplating it,” McCutcheon said. “But after I won the Duel, that really put me in a good mindset and I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to give it my all during my senior season and try to see if I can play at the next level.’ I think it really boosted my confidence.”

McCutcheon proceeded to go out and lead South Granville to a 9-3 record and trip to the playoffs while passing for 1,644 yards and 17 touchdowns. “I’m really happy with the way my senior season went,” he said. “I’ve always been a team player, and we ran the ball a lot. I was usually focused running the offense and making sure everything was clicking. Overall, it was great. I had a great time and it was really enjoyable.”

As a junior at South Granville, McCutcheon passed for 1,285 yards and 11 touchdowns. As a sophomore, McCutcheon was the starting varsity QB at Northern Vance H.S. in Henderson, N.C., so he had quite a prep career.

“I really enjoyed playing high school football,” McCutcheon said. “I’m going to miss the summer workouts and I’m going to miss the locker room camaraderie, the bus rides to away games, those are all things I really enjoyed. Just being around the guys, it was a great time.”

College bound

Boosted by his success at the Duel and throughout his senior season, McCutcheon is now looking forward to playing college football. He is currently leaning toward Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

“I’m not a big-time D-I prospect, so it’s been kind of getting a feel for the campuses and getting to know the coaches and players at some smaller schools,” McCutcheon said. “It’s been a good experience.”

Even at smaller colleges, the level of competition is much tougher than high school. McCutcheon is looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s just competing,” he said. “I’m going to go in against tough competition, that’s to be expected. I’m just going to have to go in and work as hard as I can and whatever happens, happens. If I give it my all, I should have a good chance to play.”

While he’s proven he can produce on the field while playing varsity quarterback in high school the past three seasons, McCutcheon possesses another important intangible.

“I feel like I can lead by example,” he said. “Not only on the field, but off the field, in the classroom, in the weight room, things like that. I’m not really a loud guy on the field or in the locker room, but I feel like I can lead by example and help people out when they need help.”

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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