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October 16, 2012

McClendon says Buckeyes top his list

Follow Noon | Givler | Axelrod | Birmingham

The names being bandied about for Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class are well known throughout the Buckeyes recruiting world. Kyle Allen, Drew Barker, Caleb Henderson, Deshaun Watson and DeShone Kizer have all been discussed, broken down, and analyzed to the Nth degree as eager Ohio State fans give their two cents about the future of their team's most pivotal position. There may be another name that needs to be added to that list, however, and it's a name that up to this point might be a bit unknown to most people outside of the Charlotte area.

Jalan McClendon, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound quarterback from West Mecklenburg high school, has the Buckeyes at the top of his list, and he's hoping to continue to gain their attention as he works towards the end of his junior season.

"It's just a great school," McClendon said of Ohio State. "They have a great football program, and I really like their offense a lot. Urban Meyer is one of the best coaches in the game and I think I could fit into their offense and the program."

The Buckeye offense, which has hardly been a trendsetter in the past decade, is gaining a lot of attention for mobile quarterbacks that see themselves as a natural predecessor to Braxton Miller. McClendon, who holds offers from North Carolina and Wake Forest, has led his Mecklenburg team to a 5-3 record so far this season with a balanced approach.

"We're a mostly running team this year, but I have eight touchdowns on the season right now and four interceptions," he said. "I'm working hard on my footwork and throwing mechanics, and learning to break down defenses. I'm doing well in going through my progressions and making the right reads; as well as improving my footwork in the pocket. Stats are not as important as getting better."

When this season is over, McClendon hopes to find a bit more time to focus on recruiting, since right now he's been unable to do much traveling outside of the Carolinas.

"I have visited North Carolina and South Carolina," he said. "I still plan on going to Duke, North Carolina State and Ohio State later on. But right now, Ohio State is my top school."

While he has the Buckeyes at the top of his list, McClendon isn't shy or slow to name some other schools that he's interested in and would like to hear from. He's also got a plan as to what he's looking for, and when he would ideally make his decision.

"After Ohio State, my other favorites are North Carolina, South Carolina, LSU, Clemson, and Vanderbilt," McClendon continued. "I want to make my decision on signing day in my senior year. Obviously the football program is important at whatever school I attend, but nothing is more important than education. That is how I can be most successful."



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