The Story Behind UConn Quarterback Johnny McEntee’s Trick Shot Video
LBS staff writers Steve DelVecchio and Larry Brown collaborated on this story
By now you’ve probably seen the trick shot video compiled by UConn quarterback Johnny McEntee. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and watch it now because it’s incredible.
McEntee is a redshirt junior and one of six quarterbacks on UConn’s roster, and by far the most famous Huskies quarterback to never have thrown a pass in a live game. Last week, he posted his trick shot video on YouTube and it instantly went viral, surpassing four million views in less than a week.
After watching such an incredible video, we were determined to learn more about its back-story. LB spoke with McEntee’s high school coach, Troy Thomas, to learn more about Johnny, while Del talked with Kyle Campbell who edited the video.
First off, to all you conspiracy theorists, both McEntee and Campbell have confirmed that everything in the video is real — there was no digital editing when balls left the screen, unlike these trick shots. Because everything was real, it took about six hours to get all the shots, and then another three or so to edit, according to Campbell.
The idea to film the video was all McEntee’s, and it came after Johnny saw Lady Husky Caroline Doty’s shooting video. Campbell said the hardest shots to get were the ones where he “hit the two uprights and the crossbar while balancing the ball on his right foot and the final shot — the long range one in Gampel.” Just to confirm, these shots were every bit as difficult as they looked — the deep throw in Gampel Pavilion where the basketball team plays “took at least 20-30 minutes because it’s about a 70 yard throw and his arm started to get a little sore” Campbell told us.
In a separate interview, McEntee told Sky Sports that he’s been working on these tricks for years, which comes as a surprise for some of the people who know him well.
Troy Thomas, who is the head football coach at Servite High School in Anaheim, knew McEntee was talented, but had no idea of what he was capable. “He’s always had a very nice arm, a strong arm, he was always accurate,” Thomas said “but we never did that at practice messing around like that.”
McEntee only started at quarterback his senior season because he was behind three-year starter Dan Klein who received scholarship offers from Cal and Washington State, but chose to play baseball at UCLA where he’s currently the team’s closer. In McEntee’s only year as a starter, Servite won their league and reached the semifinals of the playoffs, with Johnny combining for 11 touchdowns, including four rushing which Thomas termed an underrated part of his game.
After seeing Johnny show off his skills, you might consider him a showoff. That’s actually the opposite of how Thomas described him. “The kid I know is very humble, what I see [in the video] is him having fun. Not so much trying to show off — he’s not a flashy guy — he was always very humble.”
Four million views and counting, it’s easy to see that McEntee was doing just that in his video — having fun. The former walk-on quarterback will have a chance to compete for the starting job this spring. My suggestion for him? Pull new coach Paul Pasqualoni aside and fire up that video. After all, we’ve come to learn the kid can make every throw possible.