Florida DB Includes Illinois Among Top Three

The Fighting Illini football team is searching far and wide for defensive backs. Depth is an issue on the current team, so several defensive backs will be added to the fold next February. Among those with offers is Florida cornerback Blake McClain.

Blake McClain attends Winter Park High School in Winter Park, Florida. He has already amassed eight offers, and a few more may be on the horizon.

"West Virginia, Boston College, Memphis, FIU, Louisville, Illinois, Indiana and Southern Florida have offered me, and Pitt and FSU are recruiting me pretty hard."

McClain does have an early favorite list but also said there is still time for change as he moves closer to his decision.

"As of right now, West Virginia, USF and Illinois stick out of the schools that have offered me."

McClain's recruitment started to pick up steam after the conclusion of the 2011 season, where he finished with 55 tackles and seven pass break ups. He was pleased with his junior year.

"I think it went well, but it could have been better. Overall though, I played hard and played well. My team went 6-4, made it to the first round of playoffs and lost."

Winter Park has some work to do to have a successful season next fall, but McClain is hopeful his final season will be successful.

"We have a very young team, and we're hurting a little in numbers and depth. It will be interesting. We have some young players we need to step up. I think if everyone works hard and tries to improve, we will be pretty good."

The 5'-11", 181-pound cornerback shared several positive aspects of his game.

"My strengths are I am very smart, I know my position well, I know the game of football, and I can outsmart the receiver by predicting what route he will run. I am also a good tackler and a playmaker."

McClain, who said nobody's game is or ever will be perfect, shared a couple things we would like to improve.

"I can always get faster, stronger, and work on technique—back pedal and all those little things you can work on."

McClain plans to take an unofficial visit to Illinois in June. There are a handful of things he will keep his eyes on.

"I will be looking for things like how I feel when I get there, the surroundings, the atmosphere, the facilities, the academics, and basically what they have to offer."

McClain says he will major in Communications or something sports related such as athletic administration. While academics will be most important to him, he shared several other things he wants in a college.

"Atmosphere, if it best fits me, the coaching staff, the depth chart and what kind of defense they run."

Illini defensive back coach and defensive coordinator Tim Banks is recruiting McClain. They don't speak frequently, but McClain enjoys every opportunity he gets.

"He's a very cool guy. He's very laid back and easy to talk to."

McClain respects the program and the conference in which it plays.

"I don't know a lot. But I see them playing on TV a lot, and they're in the Big Ten. The Big Ten is a great conference and has great teams."

It will be a busy summer for McClain, who plans to make several visits around the country.

"This summer I want to visit Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia and maybe one more."

He also has an idea of when he will make his decision.

"I want to make my decision before next season. I just want to be focused on the school year and the season so I don't have to carry that extra baggage."


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