Maryland and Virginia Tech fans were eyeing Wednesday, July 16, as the day when Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) tailback Deshawn McClease would announce his college choice. The 5’9″, 175-pound rising senior pulled a slight surprise, though, and made his pledge to Virginia Tech today.
McClease, who was in Blacksburg on an unofficial visit this Monday, informed his Oscar Smith teammates and coaches of his decision last night. He then called primary recruiter Bryan Stinespring and head coach Frank Beamer.
“It felt good. It was like me committing in front of my brothers,” McClease said of last night’s announcement, which came during team workouts. “I’m good with not showing emotions, but I was excited. That was real special to me. A lot of people were very, very surprised.”
Playing for a program that is competing for state championships year in and year out, McClease has totaled 43 touchdowns over the course of the past two seasons. He rushed for 1,558 yards and 28 scores this past season as a junior, helping the Tigers to the 6A state championship game.
“He’s a great character kid,” Tigers head coach Richard Morgan said of McClease. “He’s a hard worker and he’s respectful to coaches and teammates. On top of that, he’ll probably end up as the all-time leading rusher in Oscar Smith history. He’s a great talent on the field. He’s the total package. I think he’s a great get for Virginia Tech, and he’ll be a really good fit for their offense.”
McClease’s offer total reached double digits and included Duke, Louisville, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, but his decision came down to the Hokies and the Terrapins. McClease trekked to both finalists this month before coming to his decision.
What separated Virginia Tech?
“Honestly, I would have to say the whole environment,” McClease said. “I had to take a lot of things into consideration. I have a great relationship with the whole coaching staff at Tech. I had a good relationship with the coaches at Maryland, too, but I never talked to Coach Edsall. Them going to the Big 10, I think that’s a big move but I’m not sure how they will do. I definitely wish them the best, but I feel like Tech is the best situation for me.”
McClease plans on majoring in Business. He adds also that there is a good chance he enrolls at Tech in January of 2015.
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