Maryland has identified a couple intriguing out-of-state running back options, and one of the Terps' most recent offers went out to Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) speedster DeShawn McClease, a 5-foot-8, 165-pounder with a growing offer list. McClease already held early verbals from Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Old Dominion and Temple, but he was especially excited about his most recent scholarship.
"I honestly don't have any leaders yet, but Maryland is one school that's standing out right now," said McClease, who has a 3.1 GPA. "I did some research on them and I know they have a good medical program and a good business program, and those are the fields I'm interested in. I want to major in sports medicine and minor in business in college.
"I also learned about the Big Ten move, and that's a big jump for them. It's great for recruiting, just competing on that national stage. If you win some games in that conference, that's really going to help get players in there."
Of course, McClease had to comment on Under Armour as well. It's become a major selling point for the school, and even if uniforms alone won't convince a recruit to choose UMD, McClease said, "you better believe it plays a role."
"I'm not going to lie, I'd rather play in a Maryland jersey than an Alabama one, and I'm not afraid to say it," McClease said, chuckling. "I like all the jerseys Maryland has, but my favorites are the all-black one and all-white one. I'd love to try them on (laughs)."
McClease will likely get his chance in about three weeks, which is when he should have time to visit College Park for the first time. He said he's planning to see a spring practice or the spring game provided it fits into his schedule.
"I'm excited to see the school and meet all the coaches," McClease said. "Coach [Chad] Wilt is the one who recruits me, and I like him a lot. I feel like we're going to get to know each other pretty well throughout this process. Honestly, I feel like he's the most honest coach I've talked to. Some other schools, their coaches tell you what you want to hear, but Coach Wilt tells it like it is. He was saying how college is going to be, and when I asked him questions about Maryland he was very, very honest with me, and I respected that."
The Virginia back said he spoke to Wilt in late February after his head coach put him in contact. McClease said Wilt told him Maryland was considering an offer but had to review film with the staff first.
"But then a day later he got back in touch with me and said they already decided to offer me," said McClease, who has a cousin that attended Maryland. "Coach Wilt said there were no complaints about me; they liked my speed, quickness, everything. He's excited to have me come up to campus.
"Then when I got done talked to Coach Wilt, I spoke to Coach [Randy] Edsall. He was saying how they're excited to offer me and hopefully he can meet me in person soon."
Maryland isn't the only school McClease will be looking at, however. He said while the Terps are standing out early, he does favor in-state Virginia Tech and North Carolina as well.
"With Tech, it's the whole atmosphere. When your'e in Blacksburg on game day, it's football, football football. Everybody shows me love there and I feel like I'm home there," McClease said. "And UNC, they have a great sports-medicine program and they're pretty good in football too. They have nice uniforms and their coaches are great.
"I also like Florida and Georgia, but they haven't offered yet. I like how Georgia runs the ball, and Florida, I feel like they're due for another big run and that's just a great school."
McClease has actually been to Virginia Tech several times, including games against Duke and Maryland last fall. He saw Wake Forest his freshman year and would like to return to Winston Salem, N.C., this summer. McClease also wants to visit UNC and Maryland, plus whatever other major suitors may emerge in the coming months.
"I'm going to a bunch of places coming up, but I haven't set any schedule yet," McClease said. "I'm getting that all sorted out soon."
Last year McClease rushed for 1,558 yards and 30 touchdowns. He runs a sub-4.5-second 40-yard dash and said he's been clocked as low as 4.4 seconds.
"I'm a balanced runner; I can run by you or run through out. But I'm more of a one-cut guy; I don't do a lot of dancing. I can make somebody miss if I had to, but so far I haven't had to," McClease said. "It's just off to the races most of the time. Catching is one thing I have to work on, and of course getting bigger and faster. I feel like there's always room for improvement."
McClease has an Eye on Maryland
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