Colgate University got its man.
Since Bret Mooney attended a football camp at NCAA Division I Colgate in June, the Raiders have wanted the Jacobs quarterback badly.
“The coach [Dick Biddle] made it pretty clear to me Bret was the No. 1 guy on their board,” Jacobs football coach Bill Mitz said. “That’s total, the 50 or however many guys they have on their board. He was No. 1."
Mooney visited the Hamilton, N.Y. school over the weekend and committed Monday night. Colgate, a Patriot League member, plays at the FCS level and began awarding athletic scholarships two years ago.
“There’s life after football and Colgate really sets that up for me pretty well,” said Mooney, who scored 26 in the ACT. “The football team, the majority of the time the last 20 years, has won the conference. It’s a solid team and the academics are great. It’s close to an Ivy League [for academics] and they can offer scholarships.”
Mooney said he hardly slept Friday night after the Golden Eagles’ second thrilling victory, a 36-35 triumph over Cary-Grove to take sole possession of first place in the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division. Jacobs drove 58 yards with 1:04 remaining and Mooney hit wide receiver Nick Gierlak with a 15-yard scoring pass, then connected again with Gierlak for the two-point conversion with 2.2 seconds to go.
“I had zero hours of sleep,” Mooney said. “I was flying coach and I was a little too pumped up from everything to sleep on the plane.”
Mooney (6-foot-4, 210 pounds) is second in area passing yards with 1,588. He has completed 120 of 184 passes (65.2 percent) for 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Jacobs (5-2) has won five consecutive games and is in position to win its first FVC title since 1979.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity,” Mitz said. “Bret’s an outstanding student and that scholarship is worth about $48,000 a year. He just gets better every week. He’s going to get better and better. I’m extremely happy for him.”
Mitz, an Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer in his 32nd season, has said Mooney ranks with the best quarterbacks he has coached.
Mooney’s father Keith, a former linebacker at Purdue, attended the camp with his son in June. Colgate offered a scholarship to Bret on Fathers’ Day, which he considered his gift to Keith. His mother Lori visited the school with Bret over the weekend. The Raiders (1-5) lost to Stony Brook, 27-3, but Biddle’s team was 8-4 and made the FCS playoffs last season.
Biddle is 134-70 in his 19th season at the school and has been the Patriot League Coach of the Year five times.
Senior Gavin McCarney is Colgate’s starting quarterback this season. The Raiders’ coaches want Mooney to come in and compete with current freshman Jake Melville next year. Mooney said Colgate does not usually red-shirt players.