An Arkansas football program that will see three of its top receivers go out the door after the 2016 season could have a new one coming through it in a week or so.
Former Jacksonville multi-sport star D’Vone McClure (6-3, 190), who has spent the last four years playing minor-league baseball in the Cleveland Indians organization, visited the Razorbacks last week.
The 22-year-old McClure, who has a 36-inch vertical jump and whose nickname is Plucky, also visited Arizona and will decide from those two schools soon.
“I think pretty much in the next week or so I should have my mind made up,” McClure said. “Football was always my first love and what I played first, but baseball came along and the draft and I decided to take that option.”
McClure was all-state in both football and baseball - where he hit .412 his senior season - and signed a baseball scholarship with Arkansas in November of 2011.
He had been getting football recruiting attention from Arkansas, Auburn, Arkansas State, Missouri State and Louisiana Tech before signing with the Diamond Razorbacks.
But when the Indians’ made him a fourth-round pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft - the number 143rd pick overall - and he was offered a $765,000 signing bonus (double the slot value) as well as a contract that would pay for his college education, he chose baseball.
After hitting .219 in four seasons of Rookie and Class A minor-league baseball for the Arizona Indians and Niles, Pa., Mahonnig Valley Scrappers, McClure was released by the Indians on April 4 and chose to take the football route instead of trying to latch on with another organization.
“I don’t want to say anything bad about my organization, but for the last two years it just wasn’t fun anymore and I really wasn’t seeing the place for advancement,” McClure said. “So I decided to go in a different direction and give a football a try.”
He was pleased with what he found at Arkansas under head coach Bret Bielema and receivers coach Michael Smith.
“I had a lot of fun on the visit and like what they are doing,” McClure said. “Coach B and Coach Smith are great guys and I love how Coach Smith is funny and keeps it loose and relaxed out there while still getting the work in.
“I think it is a place I could be happy at and a place I could be successful.”
Whether it is Arkansas or Arizona, McClure will be sort of a gift from above since he will be not the team, but not take up a scholarship since the Indians are on the hook for his college education.
“Yes, I will just be a walk on since that is taken care of,” McClure said. “It’s a good deal for all involved.”
Current Razorback defensive back Kevin Richardson defends former Jacksonville teammate D'Vone McClure back in 2011.