Nearly two months after national signing day, Sean McCormack had yet to commit to a college. Despite ideal height — 6-foot-5 and 195 pounds — and a powerful arm, the Hinsdale South senior quarterback was still without a Division I offer.
McCormack’s path to a college football program reached its destination on Friday, April 1, when he accepted a preferred walk-on role with Louisville.
“It’s great to finally be done with recruiting and to know where I’m going,” McCormack said. “I really liked the coaching staff and the offense they run, and the facilities were perfect to me and I really look forward to playing for a good team over the next four years.
“Basically, (Louisville) wanted me and the way the coaches treated me and how they sold the team and the program was special.”
McCormack plans to enroll at Louisville for the start of the summer semester in June. The Cardinals, coached by former Atlanta Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino, won eight of their last 10 games in 2015 to finish 8-5, including a Music City Bowl victory over Texas A&M.
“It will be fun to get out there (early) with the team and get a head-start and to learn the playbook and bond with everybody and get adjusted to college football,” McCormack said.
Also a power forward on Hinsdale South’s Class 4A regional title-winning team, McCormack was 175-of-282 passing for 3,041 yards and 35 touchdowns this season. He led the Hornets to the Class 6A semifinals, where they lost 40-37 to Crete-Monee.
Before this season, McCormack had attempted just 13 passes in his varsity career.
McCormack’s meteoric rise to college recruit was aided by regular private lessons with renowned passing coach Jeff Christensen. A former NFL quarterback who was drafted by Cincinnati in 1983, Christensen is the president of Throw It Deep quarterback and wide receiver training academy, which is based in Lockport. Christensen’s current clients include Washington starter Kirk Cousins and New England backup Jimmy Garoppolo. Christensen has repeatedly compared McCormack to Cousins.
“Sean has tremendous potential,” Christensen said. “He works really hard and is always coachable. He’s just like Kirk Cousins, maybe even further along than Kirk was in his senior year.”
McCormack said he’s excited about competing for a scholarship and learning under Bobby Petrino and his brother, quarterbacks coach Nick Petrino.
“I can’t wait to learn from them, and they are obviously at the top of their game,” McCormack said. “I’ve been looking forward to this as long as I can remember. I’ve always looked forward to going to a Division I school, and I can’t wait to finally get out there and see what it’s like and prove myself.”
Bob Narang is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.
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