Briar Woods QB Trace McSorley left in limbo with Vanderbilt coaching vacancy

January 16, 2014

Briar Woods quarterback Trace McSorley must wait to see who Vanderbilt hires as new head coach ( Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Just last week, Briar Woods quarterback Trace McSorley was counting down the days until he signed his National Letter of Intent Feb. 5 with Vanderbilt. But Saturday, the 2013 All-Met’s countdown stopped for a moment as Penn State introduced former Commodores Coach James Franklin as its 16th head coach.

The move didn’t catch the 6-foot-1 quarterback completely off guard, because Franklin’s name was being thrown in the mix for several coaching jobs in the offseason. He was reported as being a lead candidate for the USC head coaching job in early December before former Washington Coach Steve Sarkisian took the position.

“I wasn’t too surprised. I kind of expected that he would take the job, so it wasn’t a huge shock,” McSorley said. “I was disappointed he moved on, but I understand it’s a business and he has to look out for his family.”

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The dual-threat quarterback is still very committed to Vanderbilt and will wait until the university hires a new coach. McSorley possesses a very strong and accurate arm, but with a 4.5 40-yard-dash, speed he’s dangerous outside of the pocket. He ran for 892 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.

McSorely has a scheduled official visit to the Nashville campus Jan. 24, along with several other high-profile oral commits he’s developed friendships with.

“They’re a really cool group and most are still going to go down,” McSorley said of the visit. “I enjoyed meeting them and felt like we had special group where everyone wanted to come in and produce. The coaching change has changed some guys’ plans.”

Three Vanderbilt recruits have switched their commitments to Penn State, and Franklin has been reported as making offers to several others. Wednesday marked the end of the dead period, giving coaches three weeks to finalize their recruiting classes through in-person contacts with players before National Signing Day.

Wake Forest, Boston College and NC State have shown the three-time state champion interest, and McSorley said Franklin has been in contact with him, so Penn State may turn into an option. He will have four more official visits remaining after his Vanderbilt visit.

“Waiting has been tough, and not knowing for sure what’s going to happen,” McSorley said. “With [Charlie Strong going to Texas], he’s dropped commits and left them scrambling. Knowing that can happen and not knowing who can be hired probably has been the hardest part about this whole thing.”

If McSorley were to choose Wake Forest, he would be paired with former teammate 2012 All-Met Cam Serigne, a tight end.

“It would be cool playing with somebody I’ve played with before and cool to play with him,” McSorley said. “If we played together we could win a championship again together. He understands my decision and how I’m going to go about it.”

NUMBER CRUNCH: 25-0

Stonewall Jackson girls’ basketball’s all-time record against Conference 8 rival Battlefield. Wake Forest commit Nicole Floyd scored a game-high 22 points, including a put-back basket with 8.1 seconds left, to lift the Raiders over the Bobcats, 48-46, on Wednesday night.

 BREAKFAST LINKS:

– In Damascus, a strong youth wrestling program draws kids to the fourth-ranked Swarmin’ Hornets, and at Langley, 145-pounder Alex Pratte earns a spot on Pittsburgh’s nationally-ranked wrestling team.

–First-year O’Connell hockey Coach Flip Collins is providing free pizza for fans at home game as the Knights sit atop the Patrick division of the Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League.

–No. 11 St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes is getting improved guard play from Gavin Peppers, who has embraced role as distributor.

–If you haven’t done so already, head to our site to take a look at this week’s Top 20. Stonewall Jackson’s Floyd was one of several area standouts featured on our All-Met Watch.

PHOTOS OF THE DAY:

View Photo Gallery —The senior’s 22-point performance leads Lady Raiders as they remain undefeated in the conference.

VIDEO OF THE DAY:

Check out the Post’s Top 10 basketball plays from last week, including several game-winners, as teams begin to play their best basketball in January.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Girls’ basketball: Second-ranked Paul VI will host No. 6 Elizabeth Seton at 7 p.m. in a pivotal WCAC showdown in a rematch of the Jan. 11 thriller that Paul VI won by three points on the road.

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Tariq Lee · January 15, 2014