McClain Still All Terps, Plus Scouting Report

WALKERSVILLE, Md. -- Here is an update and scouting report on Middletown offensive lineman and Terps pledge Will McClain.

WALKERSVILLE, Md. -- Middletown (Md.) took on Walkersville (Md.) Sept. 26, and the former came out on top 13-12. Middletown, of course, features Maryland pledge Will McClain, a 6-foot-5, 295-pound three-star recruit. McClain, who plays left tackle for Middletown, did not allow a sack, had three pancake blocks, and aided a ground attack that racked up over 150 yards.

Terrapin Times was on hand to both scout and interview McClain. Check out our reports below:

Scouting Report

Will McClain lines up at left tackle for Middletown, but he’s probably ticketed for right tackle at Maryland, or perhaps even guard. He’s a 6-5, 295-pound drive blocker who fires off and heads straight downhill, almost like a bulldozer. He has a decent get-off and first move, thrusting his full weight forward.

McClain uses his wide base to maintain his ground, while his thick, powerful legs allow him to push downfield. And with his strong hands and ability to gain extension, coupled with natural power, McClain typically rides his man through the whistle. Once he latches on, it’s difficult for opposing linemen to disengage.

McClain’s footwork is sound as well; he’s not a plodder, rarely gets crossed up and maneuvers well in traffic He’s fairly athletic too, showing the ability to move down the line and execute downfield blocks. Moreover, he’s able to complete slip blocks, pancaking the defensive lineman before moving to the second level and engaging the linebacker.

Physically, though he’s carrying 295 pounds on that 6-5 frame, McClain doesn’t have much “bad weight.” Yes, he can stand to develop his muscles, but this guy carries his pounds well. His lower body is as stout as it comes for linemen at this level. McClain also has enough arm length to gain extension and big enough hands to latch on and redirect his man.

To take his game up a notch, we’d like to see McClain become even more potent off the ball. While he does get a solid initial jump, he could stand to be even quicker. Plus we’d like to see him really fire his hands up rapidly, and then deliver a truly stunning punch. He can be a bit lethargic and methodical at times, and we want to see the consistent effort from play to play.

Also, McClain’s leverage and technique tend to wane as the game wears on. You’ll see him come out of his stance a little slower, while his initial punch is higher.

McClain could stand to continue working on his open-field agility and technique as well. While he does show solid athleticism for a big guy, it would behoove him to become more deft and nimble at the second level or out on the edges. He didn’t execute any pulls or blocks that required a whole lot of complicated steps either, so that’s something he’ll have to get used to at the next level.

Moreover, McClain has to keep honing his pass protection skills, if only because Middletown doesn’t throw the ball all that often. He does look to have a good setup (straight back, arms extended, light on his feet), but we want to see him anchor, shift his weight, shuffle his feet and readjust against top-notch edge rushers. Can he maintain a block and ride his man past the quarterback when pitted against quick-twitch FBS defensive ends? That’s something McClain will have to answer once he arrives in College Park.

McClain also has to keep building up his body, adding more muscle and working on his conditioning. And again, we definitely would like to see a more consistent effort and some fire. Right tackles are known for their mean streaks and mauler’s mentalities, and McClain is still developing in those areas.

Interview


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