McIlwain wins starting QB job as frosh


Remember the name, Brandon McIlwain.
You’re going to be hearing it a lot the next four years, and beyond.
McIlwain, a highly skilled athlete, is going to be the starting quarterback at Council Rock North High School in Newton, Pa., this season.
Only a freshman, the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder beat out junior Joe Eick and McIlwain will line up behind center when the Indians open the 2012 football season on Aug. 31 against Haverford.
“I’m really excited about it,” McIlwain said in a phone interview. “The competition basically started in the winter and I was very happy when they made the decision. It’s very good news, but now I have to be able to perform.”
McIlwain – a QBA/NFA participant for the past four years – said attending the camps helped prepare him for the rapid rise to varsity football as a freshman.
“It’s going to be tougher this season going up against better competition, but going to the NFA camps and working so much with Coach Will (Hewlett) and some of the other coaches really helped get me prepared for this,” McIlwain said. “I am really looking forward to the season and I just want to go out there and perform and do my job. Helping my team make the playoffs is my main goal.”
Operating behind a massive Council Rock North offensive line figures to help McIlwain make a smooth transition to varsity football.
The Indians’ line is anchored by 6-foot-5, 250-pound senior guard Curtis Cothran, a Penn State recruit. The rest of the line goes 220 pounds, 220, 285 and 210, so McIlwain’s growing pains should be negligible.
And with his advanced athletic ability – McIlwain is already regarded as a future major-league baseball prospect and is also a standout basketball player – the Indians are already projected to be one of the better high school teams in Southeastern Pennsylvania this season.
“We’re running the spread offense and we’ll probably throw the football 50 percent of the time and run the ball 50 percent,” McIlwain said. “I’m looking forward to doing a lot of running.”
McIlwain has a big fan in Coach Hewlett.
“Brandon is one of the best football and baseball prospects in the country,” Hewlett said. “He has excellent vision, he is a dominating runner with quick feet, he has poise in the pocket and he has one of the strongest arms and most accurate arms in youth football.”
McIlwain started playing flag football when he was 5 years old, but he didn’t begin his career playing quarterback.
“After flag football, I started playing tackle football when I was 7 years old,” McIlwain said. “I actually started getting into quarterback when I was in fifth grade. I played running back and in fourth grade, I was a right guard before I played running back.”
Now, he is thriving at quarterback.
“It’s always been a dream to play high school football,” McIlwain said. “I am really looking forward to the upcoming season and I am not afraid of the competition, I have very high expectations for myself and for my team.”