Adam McLean: Evaluation, Recruiting Update

Quince Orchard (Gaithersburg, Md.) 2015 defensive end Adam McLean talks about his season, the latest with his recruitment, and why he still believes in his hometown team.

Quince Orchard (Gaithersburg, Md.) defensive end Adam McLean is one of the region's top 2015 prospects, and he holds more than 15 offers from the likes of: Nebraska, Maryland, and Florida State among others.

The 6-foot-2, 280-pound pass rusher recently caught up with Terrapin Times to talk about what makes him such an elite player, the latest with his recruitment, and his feelings about his hometown team, Maryland. Plus, check out Terrapin Times reporter Mark Clem's evaluation of McLean below the video.

If North Potomac (Md.) Quince Orchard defensive tackle Adam McLean was 6-foot-5 he'd be a borderline five-star recruit. With his tenacity, footwork and nose for the football, he'd likely have SEC suitors in hot pursuit. But even at 6-1, 275-pounds, McLean has done very well for himself with 15 or so offers on the table and still just a junior. It's highly doubtful that McLean will grow much in the next year, but if he keeps playing the way he did against Gaithersburg Oct. 25, he'll continue to rise up prospect lists.

McLean was a dominant force for Quince Orchard, keeping Gaithersburg on their heels for most of the game. McLean finished the game with eight tackles including three sacks for minus 30 yards. The Gaithersburg passing attack had a handful of good plays, but McLean kept them in a whole with seven quarterback pressures and two pass deflections.

There's plenty of upside with McLean but there's always room for improvement. For one, he tends to rely on his closing speed in the backfield too much, abandoning his gap responsibilities at times. At the college level, everybody has speed, so not being disciplined could hurt him.

The common thread among high schoolers is they play too high. McLean, understands leverage but does get away with standing up at the point of contact, especially when he lines up on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle. When the coaches move him to the inside shoulder, and when he's head up over the guard or even in the guard-center gap, McLean plays much lower.

McLean has that motor that never quits mentality, and several times chased down the quarterback after forcing him out of the pocket for the tackle. He even caught up with a running back on a power sweep from the other side of the field. He shows real effort, but he tends to be out of position once in awhile on misdirection plays. In college, he will have to learn to play his role and have a better understanding of the big picture scheme.

While Mclean lines up in various positions on the defensive front he always has his hand in the dirt. On a handful of third and longs, McLean lined head up over the tight end but will be most effective pinching the guard and center. It's doubtful there will be any interest at the college level for him to play outside of the tackle.

Although McLean doesn't appear to have earth-shattering straight-ahead speed, his lateral quickness and his ability to play the angles is impressive. He does a great job wrapping up and seems to generate power from his base, driving through his man.

He also has an extremely fast first step and does well job slicing in-between gaps and shedding blockers. McLean demonstrates very good pass-rush moves for a high school player, including a swim move and a heavy hammer-and-rip that can stun opposing linemen. His football IQ is also extremely good for a high school player as he understands what he can and can't do.

If there was a comparison to a current or former Terp it would be Joe Vellano. Both are tireless workers and both bring that ‘blue collar' mentality to the field. Both appear to be able to scrap and claw their way out of any situation, and both have had success out-working their opponents.

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