CHARLOTTE – Charlotte Christian junior quarterback Garrett Shrader ended the wide speculation of where the four-star recruit would continue his playing career when he verbally committed to Mississippi State on April 3.
Shrader led the Knights to the NCISAA championship this past season as the junior completed 155-228 passes (68 percent) and threw for 2,302 yards and 24 touchdowns against just six interceptions. Shrader was also second on the team with 791 rushing yards and averaged over nine yards per carry to go with 10 rushing scores.
He is ranked a four-star commit by 247sports.com and that recruiting service ranks him as the No. 7 dual threat quarterback in the nation, the No. 11 recruit in North Carolina and a top 300 national recruit.
Shrader held offers from nearly 20 schools, including Alabama, Charlotte, Florida, Louisville, Nebraska, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Shrader said he was high on South Carolina and listed the Gamecocks along with West Virginia and Penn State as the finalists, but Mississippi State felt like home after his unofficial visit on March 28.
“I wanted to get it done, but I wasn’t going to rush the process,” he said. “I was going to commit once I knew and after I took that visit down there I knew. For me, it mainly just came down to coaches, scheme and the school. The depth chart was also a pretty big deal to me, but of those four criteria Mississippi State ended up having the best combination.
“I think the SEC West is the best
conference in the country no doubt and I really liked the coaches, including (head) coach (Joe) Moorhead, who recruited me. That relationship was a big key, but I also loved the campus and the guys when I went down there.”
Shrader said he also enjoyed the red carpet treatment the school showed him.
“They opened up all of the different departments that I was interested in and they had different professors come out and talk to me,” he said. “I got to see the engineering program and I ate lunch with a history professor. Later I got to talk with the business administration professor and the president, so that was really neat.”
Shrader said he’s uncommitted on what he wants to study in Starkville, but is considering history, business administration or agricultural business.
But, with his commitment taken care of, Sharder said he’s ready to get back to throwing after having shoulder surgery on Dec. 20 and again lead the Knights toward another title run.
“We expect to be a contender once again this year,” he said. “We only have one returning starter on our line, but we expect to be in the mix again. We have a tough early schedule to see what we’re made of, so it should be fun.
“The only thing that will change for me is that coach (Pete) Metzelaars wants me to have a little more control of the call sheet. I’ve always helped with what we run against certain formations, pressures and blocking schemes, but he wants me to start to do a lot more of that. That’s the next step, but I’m looking forward to throwing again and getting back after it.”