College coaches have been streaming through Middletown (Md.) High this spring, but the Knights' No. 1 prospect this year had been 3,000 miles away in Washington State. Will McClain, a 6-foot-5, 295-pound three-star tackle, decided to visit his friend in Dub-U country for spring break and has been on the West Coast since April 12.
"It's absolutely beautiful out here. I'm in Camille Island, which is like an hour-and-a-half from Seattle and it's awesome," McClain said. "There's mountains everywhere, ponds, rivers -- it's very relaxing and I'm just enjoying myself."
The Middletown tackle may be kicking back, but his head coach, Kevin Lynott, has been relaying all the latest news to him regarding his recruiting. McClain just recently added an offer from Rutgers during the evaluation period and now holds verbals from the likes of Maryland, West Virginia, JMU, Temple and RU. Meanwhile, coaches from Miami, Penn State, Clemson and Florida State have either been through the Frederick County school or inquired about McClain.
"It was good to get the Rutgers offer," McClain said. "I'm trying to get up there to visit, and it'll probably be in late May or sometime this summer. I honestly don't know a lot about them yet, but I do know Coach [Sam] Williams, who recruits me there, graduated from Middletown and knows my head coach at Middletown."
While Rutgers just entered the game, McClain has been in close contact with his two other prominent suitors for some time. In particular, he and Maryland assistant Greg Studrawa have developed a rapport and talk fairly regularly.
"Coach Stud was trying to get me down there for the spring game, actually, but I had to leave for Washington and couldn't make it," McClain said. "But he's a really good guy and a great personality. I enjoy talking to him and feel like I can learn a lot from him, because he knows so much about the game.
"His message is that the staff thinks really highly of me, that I can have a great impact on the team, I could fit in well on the line, and that I need to stay home and represent Maryland."
McClain was last in College Park, Md., for a Terps-Virginia basketball game in March. He said he thoroughly enjoyed his stay and is comfortable on campus.
"I do like Maryland," McClain said. "I grew up watching the Terps, so it's a school I'm familiar with and know about. I like their staff, I like their campus and I like their program. But I have to tell you, I really don't have a strong opinion about any school right now. I'm just taking it all in and keeping an open mind."
West Virginia is another school McClain was a fan of growing up. He was thrilled when the Mountaineers offered and visited Morgantown shortly thereafter.
"Just like Maryland, WVU thinks very highly of me," McClain said. "They want me there, they think I can contribute early, and they want me back for another visit. Morgantown is a great football town, and it's a great team. I'm definitely looking into them as well."
But while McClain has been impressed with the schools he's visited (he also took in a JMU practice), the Middletown lineman said not to read too much into his comments yet. He said he has to take more visits and see what other schools offer before he really begins forming a strong opinion.
"I want to see what each school that offers me brings to the table, so I really am keeping an open mind," he said. "I want to see the academic side of each school too. I want to be either a teacher, work in sports management or maybe do sports medicine, so I want to see what schools have to offer in those areas.
"Also I want to be able to bond with the coaches. You have to make sure their style fits with you, and that's what I'm in the process of determining now. I haven't seen Coach Stud or anyone else in action yet, so I have to go about doing that and really get an idea how these teams work."
McLain went on to say that he wouldn't mind traveling far from home for college if he felt strongly about a particular school.
"Distance really isn't a factor for me," he said. "A school could be all the way out in California, and if I felt comfortable there I'd be fine with it. I do like seeing my family, my grandparents and my uncle, but it's no the end-all-be-all. It's not going to be a make or break for me."
When McClain returns to the East Coast he'll begin planning out more visits. He said he wants to hit up Penn State soon, and will "definitely" return to Maryland and West Virginia at some point. A trip to Clemson is also in the works, in addition to others that may crop up.
"Like I said, I'm just keeping an open mind and taking it as it comes," McClain said. "I'm not rushing things. I have no idea when I'm going to make my decision or anything like that. Hey, if I go to a school and it feels right, I could [commit] tomorrow. It's not going to happen, but that's kind of how I am. [The decision] could honestly be any time."
McClain Adding Offers, Setting Up Visits
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