Chris McClellan Expected to Bolster Rams Defense
By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
Owasso will have a boost on defense this season.
The Rams have senior Chris McClellan (6-3, 295) coming on board, bringing strength, size and speed to the defensive line.
McClellan is a move-in from Tulsa Edison, where he had 66 tackles and five sacks last season. Two years ago, he produced 40 stops and six sacks while helping the Eagles reach the Class 5A quarterfinals, their best season since 1992.
The performance of McClellan has been so impressive, 37 schools, 35 which are NCAA DIvision-I, have come calling.
“It was very surprising to me,” McClellan said. “Especially with me being from Oklahoma, I didn’t think I was going to have that many big schools offer me.
“As I went to the camp series with Rivals, UnderArmour in my junior year and I guess I played good enough. You reap what you sow.”
The Edison transfer received his first offer as a sophomore. He said, “My first offer came about late January or early February of 2020, and it was from Memphis,” he said. “As of now, I like Ohio State, Florida and Oklahoma. I’d say those are my big three.”
He looks forward to seeing the campuses and meeting the coaches on his recruiting visits.
Of meeting with the coache, he said, “Talking to the coaches is just like talking to the guys, seeing their vibe, honestly, getting to meet them in person and see how they are in real life is excellent compared to talking to them over the phone. It will be great talking to the players that are currently on the team. They are doing what you want to be doing. You get the most of a real experience by spending time with the players.”
What attracted McClellan to Owasso was the experiences of the head coach and an assistant.
“With coach Jordan Johnson and Coach B (Bill Blankenship) having an actual college experience, I felt like that would be a major help for me to graduate. I will be graduating early and be in school (college) by January,” McClellan said. “Coach Johnson has been at Tulsa, Texas Tech, Arkansas, so he has a bunch of college experience.”
Blankenship of course has played and coached at Tulsa.
What McClellan has been working on through the offseason is perfecting his skills, hoping to contribute to the Rams’ defense.
“I run this hill, Big Bertha (located in north Tulsa), a lot,” he said. “A lot of recovery stuff as well too, because going into my senior year, I’m not trying to build any more strength. We lifted all throughout the winter and in the summer. I’m not trying to get bigger or stronger, I’m now just trying to maintain my health. I’ve been working more on my techniques.”
What McClellan likes about football is the competition.
“I’m a competitor,” he said. “That’s just how I’m raised. Every game to me is a competition. I always want to win. Football is definitely a challenging sport. It’s a team sport, but it is very individual as well, because there are 11 guys on the field. If everybody does their job and everybody wins, I feel like we will win. So, definitely the competition and then the aspect of having a brotherhood is a motivation.”
He looks up to the likes of Chase Young, former Ohio State standout, now with the NFL’s Washington football team, Zach Carter at Florida, Perrion Winfrey at OU, as well as other NFL players like J.J. Watt, Cam Jordan, Miles Garrett and Aaron Donald. “That’s who I model my play after,” McClellan said.
As he looks to help the Rams in their bid for the Class 6A state title this year, McClellan also intends to prove some people wrong.
“Definitely with me coming to 6A, there are a lot of doubters,” he said. “Going into the first game, especially after spring ball, I have quieted a lot of doubters. I’m only one person and there are 10 other guys on the field with me. If I do my job and they do their job, we’re going to be able to win state.”
One last thing McClellan said: “Go Rams!”