Joe Clancy is a study in perseverance, and patience.
In his first three seasons at Merrimack College, the Newburyport High graduate backed up dynamic run-pass threat James Suozzo at quarterback.
Clancy (pictured at right) soaked it all in from the sideline, digested the playbook, studied film, and took advantage of his limited opportunities. Inserted into the lineup for at least a series in the second quarter of every game, he completed 53 of his 83 passing attempts, with seven touchdowns.
This season, taking the reins full-time as the starter, he is putting together a record-breaking season.
In last Saturday's 81-35 Northeast-10 conquest of Saint Anselm, the 6-foot-3-inch, 195-pound Clancy directed the Warriors to a whopping 801 yards of offense, an NCAA high this season, while shattering his own NE-10 mark with 553 passing yards and tying the conference mark for TD passes (7). In three quarters, Clancy completed 27 of 42 attempts and broke the NE-10 mark with 561 total yards.
On Wednesday, with his parents Brian and Mary Anne looking on, Clancy was presented with this week's Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Gold Helmet (Division 2-3) at Harvard's Dillon Fieldhouse by the New England Football Writers.
Brown junior tailback Jordan Reisner was the Division 1 honoree.
"Statistically, Joe had a phenomenal day," said Merrimack coach John Perry, while rattling off Clancy's lofty numbers.
"But the thing that is more remarkable about Joe, his leadership qualities are tremendous, he's a good student, and he embodies everything that we want in a Merrimack football player as a student-athlete."
"In this day and age in which everyone wants instant gratification, Joe was a backup here for three years behind a very, very good player. That is what has prepared him for the kind of season that he has had.
Completing 66 percent of his passes, Clancy has connected for 20 touchdowns, has thrown for 300-plus yards in every game, and has already set the school's season passing mark (2,744 yards) with three games left
"It is really a testament to a program like Merrimack, the coaching staff, my offensive line, and receivers," said Clancy. "I really want to thank Coach Perry for the opportunity to play here and with great players."
Merrimack (4-3, 3-3 NE-10) travels to Bentley (5-2, 4-2) on Saturday.
Two weeks ago, Reisner was fifth on the Brown depth chart at tailback. Primarily a scout team player, he was in for three snaps Oct. 13 in a 19-0 loss at Princeton, churning out 5 yards on the first carry of his collegiate career.
But with injuries to the Bears' top three backs (Spiro Theodhosi, Mark Kachmer, and Cody Taulbee) on Saturday against Cornell, he moved up to No. 2, behind senior Jeffrey Izon.
The 6-1, 215-pound Reisner certainly cashed in, scoring two touchdowns (27 and 49 yards) and rushing for 193 yards on 22 carries in a 21-14 victory.
"The big guys up front and fullback Jackson Freeman deserve all the credit," said Reisner after the win. "I got a lot reps in practice this week and wasn't nervous, just anxious. It's football, it's fun."
Brown coach Phil Estes said Reisner "really stepped up and had a great game. I always thought he had the talent."
MIT's Peterson a National Scholar-Athlete
MIT senior Ethan Peterson is one of 15 National Scholar-Athlete award winners selected by the National Football Foundation.
A 6-2, 280-pound guard from Rutland, Vt., Peterson carries a 3.83 GPA as a nuclear engineering and physics major. All of the finalists will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and will be honored at the 55th annual NFF Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York Dec. 4. One will receive the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the best scholar-athlete in the nation. Other finalists include Southern Cal quarterback Matt Barkley and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o.
A three-year starter and cocaptain this season, Peterson was a first-team New England Football Conference selection as a junior.
The Engineers (4-3), who shocked Salve Regina, 20-19, last Friday night, play at Nichols Saturday.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell