The Gaithersburg, Md., Quince Orchard four-star defensive tackle verbally committed to Penn State April 12. Over the last couple months, he began pondering the idea of taking official visits elsewhere. Recently, he called Penn State’s staff to inform them he would be taking a few trips before announcing the news publicly Monday.
“We [he and his family] just felt I earned it, and that it will be a good thing for me to see some places,” McLean said. “I’m still 100 percent committed to Penn State and I love Penn State.
“It’s just a personal thing,” he continued, “and me never really having the fun and being with the family to travel .We think it will be a good opportunity and idea for me to go and experience these schools.”
So where will he go?
The tackle said Ole Miss, who was in his top three before picking Penn State, is one destination. Texas A&M is another, and a few other programs – Michigan State, South Carolina, and a program on the west coast among them – could also receive a visit.
In the end, only two programs will join Ole Miss and Texas A&M in hosting the senior. He added that he will take an official visit to Penn State in January.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Ole Miss,” McLean said. “And Texas A&M, I have a good relationship with the coaches there. I wanted to go down to the Texas area and I see they can use some help on the defensive line.
“Ole Miss is a school I’ve liked during the entire recruiting process. I’m 100 percent committed to Penn State, but I want to see what they have to offer.”
Michigan State was also in McLean’s final grouping, and the Spartans have kept in touch. McLean recently spoke with head coach Mark Dantonio about the possibility of visiting.
“He wanted to get my thoughts on how I feel about them and where I stood,” McLean said. “I told him I was firmly committed to Penn State and I felt strongly about my decision but if things open up to take a visit I’ll let them know and they respected that.”
Penn State’s staff wasn’t thrilled with the news, but McLean said he felt it was important that he was upfront with them from the start.
“Of course they don’t want to lose me, but they just worry other schools are going to try and get my attention,” McLean said. “It was definitely a hard conversation, but it was better that I was upfront and told them about my decision.”
Outside of that January stop, the tackle currently does not have any unofficial visits to Penn State planned though one could be added. Asked when he would like to have a decision, McLean said he just wants to see what other schools have to offer.
“I mean, it’s pretty much already wrapped up,” McLean said. “I just want to go see what’s out there and that’s all. The only schools I visited were South Carolina, Nebraska, Wake Forest, and Maryland. I don’t have too much to compare to as far as Penn State vs. other schools.
“I don’t want to get to Penn State and be like ‘man, I wish I would have looked here.’ I want to feel comfortable, and if the coaches trust me as I trust them, they know I’m going to be there. They know how I feel about them.”