Arkansas has added a “free” wide receiver that could be on the field making plays as soon as this fall, but is more likely to be a boost for 2017 on.
Former Jacksonville multi-sport star D’Vone McClure (6-3, 190), who spent the last four years in the Cleveland Indians’ minor league system before being released in early April, confirmed Monday morning that he would be walking on and joining the Razorbacks.
He lauded Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema and wide receivers coach Michael Smith in making him feel at home.
"There is nothing like love from the house," McClure said of his home state. "I felt it from Coach Bielema, from Coach Smith, from the players and fans, especially on social media. I am excited about my mom being able to see me play and doing it for my state and my city."
Arkansas will be losing five senior wide receivers after the 2016 season and certainly McClure, who hit .219 in his four minor league seasons, could step in when they head out the door.
"God willing, I can have an impact right away and a bigger one down the line," McClure said. "I didn't want to waste this second chance they I have been given."
McClure originally signed with Arkansas' baseball program before being drafted by the Indians. He visited both Arkansas and Arizona earlier this month.
“I had a lot of fun on the visit and like what they are doing,” McClure said after his visit to Arkansas. “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.”
McClure was a high school teammate of current Razorback defensive back Kevin Richardson, who is glad to have his teammate in the fold once again.
He caught 58 passes for 944 yards and 9 touchdowns, rushed 36 times for 293 yards and three touchdowns and returned 8 for 243 yards as a junior at Jacksonville.
“He was a leader,” Richardson said. “…He was a big producer in our offense. I was the quarterback throwing him the ball some, but at the same time we were both receivers. To work back with him again is something I am looking forward to.
“I have been talking to him since I found out he had gotten cut from his team and he still had eligibility left. I just want him to get up here.”
McClure was taken in the fourth round by the Indians of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft, the number 143rd pick overall.
Richardson certainly understood McClure taking the baseball route and the three-quarters of a million dollars the Indians offered.
“That is something that I wouldn’t turn down either,” Richardson said. “To be able to able to do your dream, one of you dreams. Obviously he loves football, but to be able to go to MLB is somebody’s dream playing baseball and in football our dreams are to go to the NFL. He can pursue that now if he wants to.”