Joey McCann carries air of confidence


Joey McCann carries air of confidence

No matter the level, the best quarterbacks typically play with the highest degree of confidence. In that regard, Joey McCann is going to be a good one.

As he eases into his spring season quarterbacking the Central Florida Grizzlies, the fifth grader is already envisioning the day when he’s ready to play football at the high school level. “I want to play varsity as a freshman,” McCann said. “I’m confident that I can do it. I think it would be really hard playing quarterback if you’re not confident.”

Look at any position in any sport, and it’s difficult – if not impossible – to come up with one more difficult than playing quarterback. McCann first stepped under center when he was 5 years old, so even though he’s young he’s already logged a mountain of minutes at QB.

“I’ve always liked playing quarterback,” McCann said. “I play cornerback and safety, too, and I like hitting people. I just like playing football. I play a lot of sports, but football is No. 1.”

In his fall league this past season, McCann led the Winter Springs Grizzlies to an 8-1 record while averaging a touchdown pass per game. “I really like throwing the ball, and I like watching my teammates score touchdowns,” he said. “I also like running the ball, but I’m more of a passer and I’m working on my speed.”

Second in Duel

McCann prepped for his fall season by finishing second in the Duel among incoming fifth graders. These were NFA’s comments on his showing at the Duel: “Excellent mechanics and control for someone his age.”

Faring so well at the annual showcase event held in Massillon, Ohio, gave McCann a big boost heading into his fall season with the Grizzlies. “It game me a lot of confidence,” he said. “Doing well in the Duel made me feel like I was really good.”

While he’s involved in other sports, McCann always stays on top of his football training. “I spend a lot of time throwing with my dad,” he said. “I think I have a pretty strong throwing arm and I’m pretty accurate.”

McCann has been training with NFA the past three years. “They’ve really helped me a lot,” he said. “They’ve taught me the fundamentals of playing quarterback, and mechanics and the right way to throw a football – and even hold a football.”

When he’s not playing football, McCann likes to watch Jameis Winston, the red-shirt freshman quarterback who led Florida State to the BCS National Championship while winning the Heisman Trophy. “I like that he can run and pass the ball,” McCann said. “He was a rookie last year and everybody looked up to him, even the seniors.”

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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