In January, B.J. Nagle moved from Memphis, Tenn. to Louisville, Ky. The former Briarcrest Christian standout is now at St. Xavier. Nagle was apprehensive about the move at first but now he’s glad he did it.
“This is a great opportunity for me,” Nagle said. “I think I fit in well. I was hesitant about it at first but I am happy now. It’s a good move for me and I am really grateful about it.”
Nagle, now 6-foot-3 and 225-pounds, is a quarterback just like his father Browning Nagle was. And this season he will have a unique opportunity to work even closer with his dad. The elder Nagle is now St. Xavier’s passing game coordinator and quarterback coach.
“My dad is great,” Nagle said. “He’s actually always been my quarterback coach my entire life. But now we will be on the same page because I will run his offensive scheme. We can practice it and talk about it. Then go out and do it. He’s now my coach but my dad at the same time.”
The younger Nagle has much of the same skill set as his father at the same stage. They are both terrific athletes in multiple sports and B.J. has size and the big arm.
Now he will get to showcase it in a new offense.
“It’s going to be a combo offense,” said Browning Nagle. “It’s a hybrid based on many of the principals I learned from playing for Howard Schnellenberger. It’s what I know and what I believe in. But it will have spread elements and some pistol. It will be a little bit of country and a little bit of rock ‘n roll.”
Nagle is working hard with his father this off-season on the basics and getting together with his new teammates for workouts and many throwing sessions.
“The key for B.J. is to have a solid foundation,” said Browning. “He has to build himself as a quarterback around that foundation, from footwork to proper mechanics. He has to be sound and be an accurate thrower. We have to tighten everything up.
“But the work he has put in so far has been really good. He has been here since January and has worked hard. So has his teammates. It’s been incredible. Those kids are relentless and I love it.”
For Nagle’s future it will depend on what he does on the summer camp circuit and the season ahead. He’s already hearing from teams like Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Louisville, Georgia, LSU, Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Penn State and others. He was invited to LSU junior day but couldn’t make it. He will attend Bobby Petrino’s junior day this Saturday at Western Kentucky.
“I had two unofficial visits last year to Auburn and Louisville,” Nagle said. “It was great to see those schools. I also want to check out Duke and coach [David] Cutcliffe, Georgia, LSU and a bunch of others.”
Of course Nagle would love the opportunity to play at his father’s alma mater at Louisville. Then again, he also wants to check out everyone and make the best decision for him.
“I have always wanted to play there and that would be a blessing,” Nagle said. “To be a legacy, play at the same college and maybe wear the same number as my father would be awesome. I am being recruited by them and coach [Charlie] Strong has done an incredible job. They just had a great season and they have treated me well. I have been impressed with them.
“I am here now in Louisville and I can check them out more closely. But I also want to give everyone an unbiased look. Every program is good and they would all be great opportunities. I am keeping an open mind.”
Nagle is serious about what’s in front of him. He’s so focused that he will not play baseball this spring. That’s big because Nagle is an outstanding player as a pitcher, outfielder and third basemen.
“I just really want to get plugged in with my [football] teammates right now,” Nagle said. “I know I will miss baseball but I want to be prepared. Football is No. 1 with me right now.
“The first month and a half here has been great and the work is paying off. I am lifting and throwing and the results are showing. I am throwing with the guys and we are grinding it out. And I will keep working all the way through the spring and then summer.”