SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012
McGregor’s stock on the rise after Battle of Florida
Josh McGregor (2) was MVP in the Battle of Florida.
Josh McGregor (2) was MVP in the Battle of Florida.
JU quarterback Josh McGregor was on Cloud Nine Sunday and had reason to be after being named Most Valuable Player in the first Battle of Florida All Star game the night before.

McGregor, from Royal Palm Beach, Fla., completed 11 consecutive passes, ran in for a touchdown and caught a pass in his North’s team 51-3 romp over the South. He ended the night completing 11 of 12 passes for 123 yards and had 7 receiving yards in his one quarter of work which led the North to a 27-0 first quarter lead.

The game was for draft eligible players with state ties and was played at Florida Atlantic University.

McGregor, who ended his career 23rd on the all-time Football Championship Series list with 11,230 career passing yards and sixth in touchdown passes with 111, just missed his first pass of the night before going on his tear that won him the game’s top award.

The North was coached by former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden and the South by former University of Miami and FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger. JU head coach Kerwin Bell, who got a Gatorade shower at game’s end, was the North’s offensive coordinator and McGregor took advantage of Bell’s aggressive play calling.

“It’s weird,’’ McGregor said. “I was MVP from a small school (Belle Glades Day) in my high school all-star game and now in college.’’

McGregor, who graduated in December with a degree in Sports Management, said he believes he may have done enough to grab some attention from pro scouts at the game. Twenty-nine NFL teams and four Canadian Football League teams sent representatives.

“I had to show them I can make all the throws and have a high completion rate (he was 60 percent in college),’’ McGregor said. “Yeah, I think I did enough to catch their eye.’’

He may have been inspired by his jersey number – 13 – worn by his boyhood idol, Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins. McGregor said that wasn't preplanned. “That’s the jersey they gave me,’’ McGregor said. He wore 2 in college.

Another Dolphin, wide receiver Josh Philpart, wasn’t invisible in the game.

Philpart, playing for the South, gave his team its only offensive spark of the game with a trio of catches in a single second-quarter drive. He appeared open on two other pass plays that looked like touchdowns but the ball wasn’t catchable either play.

“It was a lot of fun all week just competing with some of the top guys,’’ Philpart said. “I think I did well enough to get the attention of a few scouts.’’

Philpart, the leading receiver in JU history, was playing about 10 minutes away from his home in Deerfield Beach and had enough supporters on hand they bought their own section of the stadium.

He is the first Dolphin receiver to go over 2,000 career yards and ended his career with 35 touchdown catches.

Two other JU coaches, wide receivers coach Ernie Mills and defensive line coach Ernie Logan, both former NFL players, were on the North staff.

- Jim Nasella