football

McCartneys game resembles famous relative

Ivanmccartney1n08200
Would you like to see the Chad Johnson of high school football? If so, head to Miramar (Fla.) High, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, where you will find junior wide receiver Ivan McCartney.
At 6 feet 1 and 160 pounds, McCartney has the same sinewy build as the 6-1, 192-pound Johnson. McCartney also slithers in and out of his routes in the same silky smooth manner. There is even an undeniable facial resemblance.
All of those similarities aren't complete coincidence: The two are related.
"Chad Johnson's my cousin," McCartney said. "I haven't met him. I just know that we're family. I haven't really spoken to him, but everywhere I go, they call me 'Chad.' They say that even before they know we're related."
The physical resemblances may be traced to their family background, but the similarities in their style of play are much more deliberate. Family or not, Johnson is someone who McCartney holds in high esteem.
"I follow his game," McCartney said. "In fact, he's my role model. I try to model my game on his."
The Chad Johnson similarities aren't just a gimmick that sets McCartney apart. He also happens to be one of the top wide receivers in Florida for the class of 2010. In fact, he may be in the conversation when discussing the best wide receiver prospects nationwide in the 2010 class. Don't believe us? Just ask the numerous defensive backs he toasted at the Miami Nike Training Camp in April.
You also can ask some of the coaches who already have extended scholarship offers.
"I have an offer from West Virginia, an offer from Ole Miss, FIU and UCF," he said. "It's very exciting, but I also have to stay humble."
McCartney, who names Miami and Florida as the schools he would most like to see recruit him, was able to garner early interest despite only making 12 catches as a sophomore. He made the most of his opportunities, converting nine of those receptions into touchdowns.
This season, in what should be a high-powered offense, McCartney hopes to get more opportunities. He will be playing alongside Division I prospect Terrance Gourdine and three-star standout Stedman Bailey in the wide receiving corps and will be catching passes from one of the nation's best passers - four-star Rivals250 member Eugene Smith.
"It's a blessing having those guys around you," he said. "Stedman, he shows me the way. If I'm doing anything wrong, he builds my confidence up. I start at slot, but I play outside also. I like playing the slot more than the outside because I get open a lot. It helps me get open and it also helps my teammates get open."
With that much firepower on offense, McCartney and his Miramar teammates have high expectations for the season.
"We want to get to the state championship," he said. "Our offense is good, but we balance it out. We have a really good defense."
If that state championship is achieved, that may be only the beginning for McCartney. Before too long, Chad Johnson may want to introduce himself to his famous cousin.
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