July 23, 2019

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Diamond In The Rough: John Gordon McKernan, LSU U-High

LSU’s Laboratory School (better known as U-High) is loaded with their 2019 class. QB John McKernan is one of their stars on that undefeated state championship team. U-High will enter the season ranked 10th in the nation according to MaxPreps.

I had the pleasure of speaking to John and I learned that there is more to this young man than meets the eye.  He works harder than his peers and is motivated by success that comes from his hard work.

Back in February, we evaluated John for the recruiting magazine that is coming out this summer for every college football team in the county. In the evaluation we noted that he was having trouble getting his hip around during the season. Since the season has ended, John has been working with QB coaches from around the country to improve his hip rotation and footwork. In doing so, his release has improved 10 fold. His passes are coming out faster and are more accurate.

John is 6’2″ and weighs 195. He has a 3.85 GPA and will be taking the ACT in June. John has a laser time of 4.79 on his forty yard dash and a 4.71 hand time.

Here is his film of his 2018 spring:

How long have you been playing football?

Since 8th grade. I always wanted to play football, but my mom was worried I would get hurt (like most moms). Finally my dad said that if I was going to play, that the time had come. So I began playing in 8th grade.

What do you love about football?

There is a lot I love about football, so I guess the thing I love the most is that it is a competitive sport. Football is the ultimate team sport.

What is something you have learned while playing football?

I have learned that I am more resilient than I ever thought I was. I started my Sophomore year and broke my hand in the second game of the year and was out for seven weeks. I came back to start in the first game of the playoffs. We blew out Loyola by 4 or 5 touchdowns. Loyola was ranked 2nd in the state and we were undefeated until then.

What are your strengths?

I think I have a high football IQ. I watch and study a lot of film. I am also a very accurate passer. I am also deceptively athletic. I make plays out of nothing at times. Finally, my team would consider me a leader and someone to lean on when we are down.

What are some of your successes?

This past season, I lead my team to an undefeated season and state championship. We beat three teams that won a state championship in their divisions, and the team we beat in the state championship beat a fourth state champion. In my career as a starting QB, I have only lost one game.

You have worked on your technique so far in the off-season, what have you focused on?

I have been focusing on my hip turn. My leg was kicking up last season which impacted my long ball, so I have spent this off-season working on keeping my leg down and focusing on my hip turn while activating my core.

I heard you used to play Golf. Can you tell us a little about it?

Between the ages of 6 and 12, I was ranked 9th in the country and 21st in the world. I started playing golf when I was really young. At six years old, I placed first in the state of Louisiana and was named Player Of The Year. I held that title until I was 12 when I decided to start playing football instead.

Do you play any other sports?

I used to play basketball from when I was really young until the end of my freshman year. My dad and grandpa played basketball at LSU, so I began to play when I was young. My other grandpa played football at LSU.

What kind of football player are you?

I am a play maker. I make plays both inside and outside of the pocket. I would not consider myself a true pocket passer, but i’m not a scrambler either. I just make plays. I also consider myself a field general because I take what the defense gives me and I try to always make the right decision. I also try to lead by example.

I read last year that you turned down the Player Of The Week for someone else. Would you like to tell us what happened?

It was either the 6th or 7th week of the season and Johnny Johnson, a defensive lineman from St. Amant, his dad had just died the day before. He had a really great game that week, so I felt like he had deserved the award more than I did. When I was told I had won the award, I spoke to my parents and told them that he deserved the award more than I did since he had lost so much yet he played so great.

What would you like to major in while in college?

I will most likely continue in the family footsteps and major in Law.

Are you planning on attending any camps this summer? If so which ones?

I plan to attend several camps this summer. The Mercer Camp, Sam Houston camp, a camp at Southern, LSU’s camp, a camp at Florida, and attend some camps in the Ivy League.

Is there anything you would like to say to the coaches?

Yes sir, I am a winner! I complete passes and I make plays happen. Whichever school I go to, I will not let them down!

About Andy Bryson 678 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach