The February 2003 signee from Florida prep powerhouse Dillard High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., picked the Auburn over defending national champion Ohio State and around 100 other colleges in an intense recruiting battle that went down to the wire. Auburn coaches weren't sure if they were going to land the talented defensive end until officials at Dillard faxed in McClover's scholarship papers on national signing day.
Stanley McClover is shown on the Auburn football practice field on Sunday after arriving in town from Fort Lauderdale.
That was a big lift to the coaches, especially the ones on defense, who had seen McClover in person at a summer camp at Auburn in 2002. At that session he was one of the most impressive defensive end prospects to set foot on the AU campus in recent years with lots of athletic ability and quickness.
Those coaches are now hoping that McClover, who reported early to campus this past weekend to get ready for the 2003 season, will be a player who can contribute early. The defensive end says that is his goal.
"I have been working out everyday to try to get myself in shape for when I came up here to campus," McClover tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I want to be ready to compete when practice starts."
McClover spent a lot of time in the weight room back at Dillard and the results show. The six-foot-four end is up to 255 pounds and growing larger. He can bench press better than 400 pounds, which will make him one of the strongest freshman in the 2003 AU signee class.
In addition to the added size, McClover says that he is faster than he was a year ago and says that he can run the 40 under 4.5 seconds. If the timing he got back home is anywhere close to accurate, this is one fast defensive end recruited by Tommy Tuberville and his assistant, Eddie Gran, who checks out the Fort Lauderdale area talent for the Tigers. He wasn't hard to notice with 27 quarterback sacks, 101 tackles, six forced fumbles and All-State honors.
"I want to get into the playing rotation right away," McClover says. "It is a big advantage to come in early before everybody else and learn the system. I am going to continue to work on my speed and my technique."
There is plenty of incentive to play early for McClover and the rest of the Tigers with an opening day nationally televised home date against Southern Cal. McClover notes that the possibility of playing in that game excites him. ""I am ready to come in and just get it," he says.