American River College record-breaking quarterback Andy McAlindon is leaving school after just one season.
McAlindon verbally accepted a scholarship offer from Louisiana Tech University on May 3.
“It’s an opportunity that I can’t pass up,” McAlindon said. “It’s a goal when you come to a (community) college that you want to transfer to a bigger college.”
McAlindon said the coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Tony Franklin who recruited him, starting talks with him about a month ago after LA Tech lost depth at the position to injury and a player leaving the program,.
The ability to come in and red-shirt and learn the offense and still have three years of eligibility was also a deciding factor for the move down south.
“The opportunity to play for three years is rare,” McAlindon said.
The Bulldogs are also changing demographics. The school is leaving the Western Athletic Conference and moving into the more geographically appropriate Conference USA.
“Good for Andy,” ARC offensive coordinator Chris Parry said.“He’s a phenomenal player, a great young man and this (is) a great opportunity for him. He gets a chance to play there years at an up-and-coming program for some really good coaches.”
The Beavers expected McAlindon to be a major focal point for ARC in the fall after shattering nearly every school record during his freshman season. A late arrival for the 2011 season for ARC, McAlindon won the starting job the week before the season began en route to setting all-time and single-season school records in passing yard (2,875) and passing touchdowns (36).
McAlindon was named first-team all-state for Region 1I following the first undefeated season in school history.
“He deserves an opportunity like this,” Parry said. “He was a qualifier coming out of high school and at the end of the day, that’s what we are here for. We are here to help guys like Andy to get on to the next place and to the right program.”
Senior Colby Cameron is set to return as the starting quarterback for LA Tech after splitting duties in 2011. Cameron threw for 1,667 yards after taking over the starting position on Oct. 22.
The departure of McAlindon is a sudden, but understandable change for the coaching staff. But McAlindon said he felt the weight of the decision when he went out to practice on May 3 after accepting the offer.
“It was tough,” McAlindon said. “The coaching staff has done so much for me. There are guys on the team I really care about. It’s tough leaving like this.”
NCAA restrictions permit coaching staffs from commenting on incoming players until documentation has officially been submitted from both sides. McAlindon said the paper is in the mail, and he plans on leaving for LA Tech near the end of May.
ARC head coach Jerry Haflich says Jonathon Kodama will run the offense this summer, but the competition will be wide open.
“(We are) actively looking for two more quarterbacks to come in this summer with Jonathon Kodama to compete for the starting position,” Haflich said.