When Loveland, Colorado got its own Pop Warner team three years ago Isaac Crane was more than ready to be its quarterback.
Isaac Crane started pretty early. His father, John Crane, a surgeon in the town of around 70,000 just south of Fort Collins and 50-miles north of Denver, had the current 12-year old seventh-grader throwing a football when he was two-years old.
“He just seemed to have a knack for it right away,” John told NFA Nation.
That knack has turned into a lot more. As Isaac’s interest and prowess continued to grow, John sought to help him fulfill his dreams and goals by getting him into NFA camps at age eight.
At his first camp Isaac cried after the Heartbreak Ridge drill when NFA Founder and President (Darin) Slack got on him about getting outside the lines.
“I leaned from that experience that the coaches were trying to help me and not make me feel bad, and that’s one of the ways you do it,” Isaac said.
A budding star
Isaac continued with NFA and also played Little League football until he was 10, and then the Loveland Titans came to be, and “Zick” as his family and friends call him, found his niche.
The first year as a junior pee wee Isaac played quarterback, or center, and defensive end. The team made it all the way to the Regional finals (Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Louisiana and Arkansas) at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, where they lost 6-0 in the last minute.
The following year as a pee wee, Zick led his team to victory at the Cotton Bowl, thus earning a spot at the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Kissimmee, Florida. The Titans won their first game and then lost but finished fourth in the country.
Last year as a junior midget, Isaac and his Titans team went back to the Super Bowl but lost their first two games.
Named a Blackshirt
With his Pop Warner success, plus having attended NFA Camps, Zick was invited to the Dual of the Dozens in 2012 where he eventually placed third when the scores were recounted, after leaving the event thinking he was fourth.
Last year he was named a Blackshirt and began working with NFA Senior Certified Quarterback Instructor and Lead Camp Coach JC Boice.
In January, Boice invited Isaac to Seattle for a 7/7 camp with around 20 QBs from around the nation.
As a result of his showing in Washington, the 5-foot-6, 126-pounder that can throw it on a rope from 20-30 yards, and has topped out at 43-yards in distance, will be doing a lot more private work with Boice this summer.
To get the kind of attention Boice has and will be giving him, means Isaac must be really adapting to the NFA approach.
What Zick has learned from the NFA and Boice
“When I first started going to NFA camps the most important thing was mechanics. Now that I have mechanics it’s about the NFA system and engaging it in game-like situations.”
“I really like working with Coach Boice a lot. It’s different than the regular camps.” JC expects you to know the mechanics so it’s about applying them.”
“Isaac has an approach to the game way beyond his years,” Boice said. “Not only his maturity in terms of processing the game as a quarterback, but also in his work ethic, and most importantly his leadership.”
“There’s something about being the quarterback that I really like,” Isaac remarked. “The feeling of being in charge, and the guys look up to you. It’s a really good feeling.”
“Physically, Isaac has all the tools. He’s big and strong, and even though he’s growing a ton right now, he’s still very smooth and coordinated, and he really loves to compete.”
“Football should be fun,” Isaac noted.” That’s why you play, but it’s also about competitiveness. You want to win.”
Baby of the family thinks big
Zick, as his brothers Nathan and Dawson originally named him, might be growing a lot, but he’s still the baby of the family. John and his wife Suzy Crane, also a physician, have three boys.
Nathan, a 17-year old senior at Loveland High, only made it as a back-up quarterback but still has been very encouraging to Zick and someone he looks up to. Dawson, a 15-year old sophomore at Loveland, is a basketball player.
“My dad is really busy as a doctor but he’s given me every single opportunity that we can find a way to do it, to achieve my goals.”
Despite straight A’s at the academically difficult St. John’s Catholic School in Loveland, Isaac, who’s favorite subject is social studies, doesn’t see himself following in his mother and father’s footsteps and becoming a doctor, although he would like to follow his family in choice of college.
“I’d very much like to go D1 in college but we’ll have to see what the world’s plan is for me. Most of my family went to Oklahoma State and I like it too. I’d love to go there.”
And what about after that?
“I don’t want to become a doctor. I see myself as a quarterback, maybe the NFL, but it’s a long way to thing ahead,” remarked Isaac, who tells NFA Nation his hero and favorite quarterback is Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos.
If Isaac “Zick” Crane continues to impress the NFA coaches and apply the NFA principles into his game plan, and maintains the competitiveness that made such an impression on Boice, the sky is the limit.
Isaac “Zick” Crane has all the tools and the right amount of competitiveness according to NFA Senior Certified Quarterback Instructor and Lead Camp Coach JC Boice