TAMPA – Brian McCall wants to be one of the best and he isn’t afraid to work day in and day out to get there. The Class of 2016 Freedom graduate is headed off to play college football at Campbellsville University and he can’t wait to get back into pads and compete.
McCall, a 5’9″, 170-pound safety says he chose Campbellsville because the Kentucky NAIA school felt like a home away from home. He will head up there on Aug. 1 four days before the start of college camp.
Six teams offered McCall including West Florida, Florida Tech, Weber, Campbellsville, Southeastern and Arkansas Baptist while Division-I programs Iowa State and Texas Tech showed interest. He said that Campbellsville head coach Perry Thomas was ecstatic about his commitment.
“As far as the recruiting process that was the coach [Thomas] that was showing me the most interest, showing me that they really wanted me to be a part of the program,” McCall said. “After I talked to my parents and we took the visit up to Kentucky I felt at home and felt an opportunity to compete and get a good education.”
He’ll get that opportunity to challenge for a role at the next level after putting together a solid senior season with 98 tackles (six for a loss), five pass breakups, four forced fumbles and one interception.
After coming to Freedom as a highly praised little league player, McCall says he thought high school would be the same thing. He says he feels that he’s mature and truly learned how to be humble and work that much harder.
A cornerback as a freshman, McCall earned the call up to varsity four games into the season. He entered his sophomore year looking to land a starting role at cornerback but ended up moving to safety. That’s when he said he had to regroup and get to where he wanted to be.
He played in only six games during his junior season suffering a concussion and a high ankle sprain. This past season despite the Patriots going 3-7 and missing out on the postseason, McCall took the time to perfect his craft.
“I took on the role of being the leader and was an impact player. I stayed in the film room often and didn’t take anything for granted.”
In McCall’s four seasons the team went 15-25 and failed to make the postseason. He said playing under recently fired head coach Todd Donohue was an interesting experience. Former Steinbrenner and Newsome head coach Floyd Graham was named the new man in charge in April.
“He [Donohue] wasn’t the best motivator as far as a head coach. We got more motivation from our defensive coordinator Lynn Gross. He [Gross] was the drive and the force. Donohoe was a great head coach and was always organized as far as practice and pregame.”
Growing up McCall would play football in his neighborhood, but he didn’t take part in organized football until age 10. He started at running back and then moved to defensive back right before high school. On top of his time at Freedom, McCall played for Team Tampa and coach Woodrow Grady.
He says his biggest strengths are his play recognition and ability to track down the ball. McCall wants to continue to play with more physicality while getting faster and keeping his technique crisp.
After losing out on the starting cornerback job as a sophomore, he says he took all the cockiness he had in his game and threw it out the window. He turned it into confidence.
“I always want to compete and play to the best of my ability and be the best player on the field. That might not always be the case, but I’ll always exceed my expectations.”
McCall’s ultimate goal is and has always been to make it to the NFL. No Campbellsville player has ever made it to the pros, but he says it would be an honor to be the very first.
“It would be a huge storyline because it just shows that anybody from anywhere can make it to the league. If you can play they are going to find you.”
He says it’s a blessing to be a part of the three percent of athletes who get the chance to play college football.
“God continues to let me stay on the path towards that dream. I do understand that reality set in and that might not be the case, but to play football and to get paid for something I love has always been the goal since I started.”
McCall wants to go to college to become a pediatric surgeon.
He truly gets what it takes to get to where you want to be. Four years that weren’t truly successful as a team didn’t alter’s path to his next stop.
A smart and tactical player, Brian McCall is a guy who we all need to rally around as he takes his talents to Campbellsville. Like he said, you never know who is watching, scouts are always looking for guys who can play and play the game well.
Favorite players to watch – Vernon Hargreaves III, Patrick Peterson, Deion Sanders, DeMarco Murray, Adrian Peterson, Michael Vick, Tom Brady
Playlist before games – Young Jeezy
Favorite movies – Friday Night Lights
Favorite TV shows – Hard Knocks
Fun fact about you that nobody knows – “I like to bake. I have a real sweet tooth for cookies and cakes. Red Velvet is my best cake.”
Nickname from teammates or friends – “Pretty Boy”, “Prime Time”
Game film: McCall’s Hudl tape
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.