Photo by Danny Parker

New Vols commit Shatar McClay 'wanted to be close to home'

Shatar McClay discussed his commitment to the Big Orange with InsideTennessee on Thursday night.

Shatar McClay won’t have to go terribly far for his college football. In fact, he won’t have to leave the state as the Clarksville native decided Thursday night that he’s going to be a Tennessee Volunteer.

“First thing first I want to thank God because it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get where I am today,” McClay said on social media. “This has been one tough recruiting process. I want to thank my parents, coach, teachers and the rest of my loved ones for pushing me to be my best. And I’m happy to announce that I plan to continue to be my best and pursue my collegiate football career at the University of Tennessee. I am beyond blessed to not only receive the offer but to accept it. Go Big Orange!”

The Northwest (Tenn.) High School junior’s pledge gives Tennessee two in as many days after Gibbs (Tenn.) High School lineman Oliver Lane declared his intention Wednesday morning to be a Volunteer.

“Tennessee is home,” McClay told InsideTennessee. “Closer for my mother to come to (see me) play — and the rest of my family. So I wanted to be close to home.”

All four of Tennessee’s commitments for the Class of 2018 are from in-state prospects. Lane and McClay join Knoxville’s Cade Mays and Manchester’s Alontae Taylor on the pledge sheet.

The 6-foot, 185-pound McClay ranks by Scout as the No. 3 athlete in the Volunteer State’s 2018 class and No. 29 in the South. He hails from the same Clarksville area that produced former Volunteers Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Travis Stephens.

McClay told InsideTennessee that he has played a number of positions, including defensive back, running back, quarterback and wide receiver. He credits his aggressive style as being a trait that helps him defeat his opponent.

In 2016, McClay racked up 21 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble. On offense, he caught 36 passes for 746 yards. He totaled 13 touchdowns.

The newest Volunteer told IT that he does not yet know an exact date on when he will visit Rocky Top this spring, but he plans to “get up there as soon as possible.”

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