Teammates Have Big Upside

Ray Lewis once roamed the field at Kathleen High School in Lakeland. Over a decade later, that same school has two defensive terrors on the field -- ends Albert McClellan and Darrell Lake.

As juniors last season, the duo dominated opposing offenses.

"We can't be stopped," said Lake. "There aren't many teams with two real good tackles. Sometimes a team will have a decent one but that's it. It's real hard for teams to block both of us."

McClellan, whose brother Julius is a Junior College All-American candidate at wide receiver this season, likely projects as a linebacker in college. Both players have athletic numbers that go off the charts.

At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, McClellan jumped 35 inches at the recent MSL Combine in Gainesville. Lake, at 6-1 and 230 pounds, went up 32 inches. McLellan had a 9-6 broad jump, while Lake went 8-6. Lake's 4.55 shuttle time was impressive, but McLellan's 4.1-time was even more impressive.

"To think those two line up together on the same defense is a scary thought," said MSL's defensive line coach. "They're both very impressive."

Lake finished last season with 13 sacks; McLellan had 12. In a 41-0 win in their spring jamboree a couple weeks ago, both players were very impressive. Both finished with nine tackles -- Lake had three sacks while McClellan had two.

Now they're both gearing up for big senior seasons.

"We have some O-Linemen that are freshmen and sophomores so we're probably going to lose a couple," said McClellan. "I just wanna make the playoffs. If we do that, I think it would be a big accomplishment."

Lake agrees.

"Getting to the playoffs is the first thing," he said. "All the personal stuff and all that won't really matter if we dont get there."

Both players, who will take the SAT for the first time next weekend, say they bring something different to the table.

"I'm always going 100-percent," said McClellan. "Nobody is going harder than me out there."

Lake said he uses his speed and quickness to dominate opposing linemen.

"They see how big I am and think I'm gonna try bull rushing or something," he said. "I use my speed. I wear 'em down and get 'em every time."

The two players, who both play varsity basketball at Kathleen, got lots of interest during May from college coaches.

"Basically we wanna stay in Florida," Lake said. "The top two schools are Miami and Florida. We went to Miami for the NIKE Camp and Florida for the MSL Camp. They both have good campuses and everything."

McClellan agrees with that assessment.

"I really like Florida and Miami," he said. "Florida State ain't really seen us yet."

The teammates were on the receiving end of plenty of May phone calls.

"We talked to Maryland, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio State, Michigan State, Ole Miss, a bunch of them," Lake said.

A UM coach stopped by the school earlier this month and sends the two handwritten mail all the time.

"Miami came by," said McClellan. "They wanna see us get our tests out of the way. He said they'll be back in the fall to watch one of our games. I'm never home so they might have tried calling."

One area the two may disagree in are what they plan on doing this summer for camps.

McClellan wants to attend UM's camp, while Lake plans on going to the one at Florida.

"It's really the same right now," McClellan said. "We like both schools a lot and we just need to see what happens."

The two have not yet received any written scholarship offers.

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