A product of Mauldin High School in Mauldin, South Carolina, offensive tackle prospect Jonathan McLaughlin signed with East Carolina University in the class of 2012. After falling short of qualifying academically, McLaughlin headed to Fork Union Military Academy, where he is now finishing up a postgraduate semester. The standout prospect impressed this fall and drew three new offers: Maryland, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. As a result, the 6’4″, 288-pound prospect has decided to explore his options.
So far, McLaughlin has taken two official visits. The first visit occurred during the weekend of November 23-25, when he traveled to Blacksburg to see Virginia Tech. It’s a school he is familiar with, as he has two cousins — Orion and Cam Martin — that played for the Hokies.
“It was really good,” McLaughlin said of the Virginia Tech experience. “I got to see a game. I saw them play the rivalry game against Virginia. Coach Shane Beamer, my recruiting coach, is just a great guy. I met coach Frank Beamer. My family loved the visit. They loved everything about it. That was an important visit in making my decision.”
This past weekend, McLaughlin was in Charlottesville touring the University of Virginia. He called the trip “pretty good” in spite of Sunday’s revelation that four assistant coaches had been dismissed.
“Everything is really nice [at UVa],” McLaughlin said. “Both (Virginia and Virginia Tech) are kind of equal. It was the same on both visits. I’ve been meeting with a lot of players. Later on, when I decide, I’ll sit down and compare all of the schools I’m considering.”
Asked if he was still considering East Carolina, McLaughlin said: “As of right now I still consider myself committed to ECU. I plan on going there [this week] or the week after.
“Right now, I’d say my top four, in no particular order, is ECU, Virginia Tech, UVa, and UNC.”
In addition to a trip to ECU, McLaughlin is also interested in taking an official to UNC. The Tar Heels have not yet offered.
No matter what school he chooses (and he plans to make a final decision in late December), McLaughlin plans on enrolling in January. He says all of the schools he is considering are on board with this.
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