After the way things worked out, Quinn Shanbour was confident that spending a year in prep school was the right move.
“I'd known some guys and trained with some guys that had done it and it worked out really well for them,” said Shanbour, a former Heritage Hall quarterback. “I didn't get what I really expected last year after having one season.”
So instead of walking on at Oklahoma State or Indiana, Shanbour wound up at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn.
The gamble appears to have paid off.
Shanbour threw for more than 1,500 yards and ran for about 900 and earned All-New England honors. Just as importantly, he's improved his recruiting stock.
“I couldn't have done much better for myself,” Shanbour said.
He had a Colorado offer before coach Jon Embree was fired. He isn't sure where that stands, but Shanbour also holds an offer from Northwestern (La.) State.
Shanbour's also attracted attention from Florida Atlantic, East Carolina, Indiana and a handful of Ivy League schools.
Coming out of high school, Shanbour nearly wound up in the Ivy League at Columbia.
But when Norries Wilson was fired as Columbia's head coach after last season, Shanbour was left with prep school as his top option.
In addition to his on-the-field performance, Shanbour has also helped himself off it.
Columbia recruited Shanbour as a “second-band” player, a status that gave him a narrower window in the Ivy League's tough academic standards.
Now, he's raised his scores and moved himself into the top band, a status that has made him an attractive option for Penn, Yale, Dartmouth and Brown.
Shanbour transferred from Bishop McGuinness to Heritage Hall at the start of is junior year and had to miss that season.
As a senior, he threw for 2,612 yards and 37 touchdowns while throwing just three interceptions in helping the Chargers to the Class 3A semifinals.
But with Sterling Shepard as his top target and Barry J. Sanders in the backfield, Shanbour's accomplishments were sometimes attributed to the players around him.
“I love those guys to death, but a lot of people thought it was all them,” Shanbour said. I wanted to show people that I was doing the things I needed to to play in college.”
In January, Shanbour will head back to Connecticut to finish the year. He's hoping to get an age waiver so he can play baseball (he recently turned 20), but if not, he'll coach Choate's junior varsity team in the spring.
Either way, Shanbour plans to get into coaching, likely in football, whenever his playing career ends.