So much for waiting a week to pack. Michael McVenes’ college plans just got accelerated.
The Colorado Mesa recruit and former Fairview quarterback switched gears this week when Northern Arizona University coaches called and offered him a preferred walk-on spot.
Because McVenes was a walk-on at Mesa, there was no letter of intent for him to break. He committed to the Lumberjacks on Wednesday and will likely leave for Flagstaff by this weekend. NAU fall camp opens Friday.
“I had my mind made up. Everything was set for Mesa,” said McVenes, who’d planned to leave for Grand Junction on Aug. 12. “Then I just got this call. It’s a better opportunity.”
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound McVenes, a two-year starter, threw for 1,514 yards, 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions as a senior at FHS last fall. He was also the Knights’ second-leading rusher with 380 yards and two scores in leading FHS to a second-round playoff appearance.
Football Championship Subdivision (Division I-AA) Northern Arizona was McVenes’ top choice during the recruiting process. But the only Division-I school to show interest in him never made an offer to join the squad, instead putting him on a waiting list.
That changed when new offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello went looking to add to his quarterback stable recently.
Northern Arizona, a member of the Big Sky Conference, went 4-7 last season.
“It was my dream school,” McVenes said. “It’s crazy how things work out. I’m excited. It’s a great opportunity. It’s a big test.”
McVenes joins a pair of other Division-I recruits from last fall’s FHS football senior class. Linebacker Jack Madden is playing at Ivy League member Penn this fall, while lineman Sevrin Remmo is headed to the Air Force Academy.
That’s not to mention other small college recruits like running back Ben Meyer (Colorado School of Mines), linebacker Carsen Will (Fort Lewis), defensive back Colin Brown (Pomona-Pitzer) and lineman Conner McGraw (Glendale, Ariz., Community College).
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