McClendon, Graham forming bond

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Tennessee coach Derek Dooley has emphasized quarterback recruiting during his time on Rocky Top, signing a signal caller in each of his three recruiting classes.

In addition, Dooley and his staff have already gained a commitment from 2013 quarterback Riley Ferguson, which means it's time to focus on the 2014 class.

A player that Vol fans need to have on their radar is Charlotte, N.C., native Jalan McClendon, who has been on campus twice already this summer.

"I think it went pretty good," McClendon told InsideTennessee last week. "I know they want me to improve on the little things, but I plan on coming back. They want to look at my first two game films and they are going to offer me after that."

McClendon, who has offers from North Carolina, Wake Forest, South Carolina State and UNC Charlotte, has already developed a relationship with fellow North Carolina native and Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham.

"He is a cool guy," McClendon said of Graham. "That's my man. We don't talk that often, but every time I see him on Facebook I contact him. He is just a cool guy — funny."

A 6-foot-4, 185-pounder, McClendon threw for over 1,700 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions during his sophomore season with West Mecklenburg (N.C.) High School. He also ran for 250 yards and one touchdown. McClendon bench presses 230 pounds, squats 305, and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds.

The rising junior places Tennessee among his top schools with Ohio State and North Carolina, but he realizes there is still work to be done, especially after squaring off against elite competition during the Vols' July camp in Knoxville.

"It really exposed me and showed me where I am at as far as right now," he said. "Until then I have to keep working hard. There was more competition for sure. All my footwork — they said I improved on my footwork and my throwing motion."

McClendon was one of several Class of 2014 quarterbacks that was on Tennessee's campus last week, including fellow N.C. prospect Will Grier who received an offer from the Tennessee coaching staff following a throwing session.

McClendon wants to major in journalism in college. You can see highlights from his sophomore season below:

Chris Price is a staff writer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously an intern for the site for two years before graduating from the University of Tennessee. He joined the InsideTennessee team in 2009.

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