Before Charlie McKee embarks on his senior season this fall, the Oceanside quarterback made some waves on Tuesday.
McKee, the 2021 Newsday Thorp Award winner as the top football player in Nassau County, announced on Twitter his commitment to play at Stony Brook.
"Thank you to my coaches, my teammates, my trainers, and especially my family throughout this long process," McKee tweeted alongside photos of himself in both the Oceanside and Stony Brook uniforms. "I also want to thank the other college coaches who have recruited me over the years and believed in me. I’m 100% committed and excited for what the future holds. #GoSeawolves"
Oceanside’s all-time leading passer, McKee commanded the Sailors to a 7-1 season and an appearance in the Nassau Conference I final this past spring as he threw for 1,409 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also made plenty of plays with his legs, rushing for 488 yards and 12 scores. The 79th player to win the Thorp Award, McKee became only the fourth junior to receive the honor.
McKee also won the annual Don Snyder Award, presented by the Nassau County High School Football Coaches Association to the county’s top quarterback.
"For me, being close to home, about an hour away from where I live, was a huge factor," McKee said. "Being a big family guy my entire life, that’s huge for me. Just so my family is able to come out and watch me, and not have any problems doing so. And my friends, and current coaches and teammates as well. And I’ve always loved representing Long Island."
Oceanside coach Rob Blount expressed plenty of enthusiasm for both McKee and Stony Brook upon hearing the news.
"I’m very excited for him," Blount said. "He’s definitely someone that’s very tight with his family and friends. And for him to have the opportunity to play Division I FCS football in the CAA for Stony Brook and his home island, that’s something that he’s definitely interested in and looking forward to.
"He’s a heck of a competitor and I think Stony Brook’s got a great player and future leader."
Other programs that recruited McKee, who is considering majoring in psychology, included Brown, Dartmouth, Monmouth, Fordham, Central Connecticut State and LIU.
McKee believes his versatility as a dual-threat quarterback will help bring the Seawolves to the next level as FCS championship contenders.
"Bringing both the pocket passing and running ability makes it hard for a defense to play both," McKee said. "For me, being able to run and throw at a high level is definitely something that will help bring this program to the next level."
McKee is just as confident in the intangibles he’ll bring as well.
"Characteristics-wise, I’ve always seen myself as a leader," McKee said. "I push myself further than my limits and other people’s expectations. To be able to walk into a program and push guys by both example and verbally will definitely take this program to the next level."