“It was crazy,” McLean said. “It was a really good to see. It’s huge. It’s ridiculous.”
Considered the best prospect in Maryland and rated as the No. 18 defensive lineman in the Class of 2015 by ESPN, McLean initially trimmed his list down this winter to five schools, only to open up his options again after Alabama made an offer on National Signing Day. He took a visit to South Carolina the following week, and in early March said he was eyeing several visits later this spring – including prospective trips to Florida and Michigan State, as well as to Tuscaloosa to see the Crimson Tide.
But he simply couldn’t pass on Penn State, a program that is under the new direction of former Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin.
“I feel really good about the coaching staff, with where they’re headed and what they’re trying to do,” McLean said. “I believe in what they’re trying to do.”
McLean said he had confidence in Franklin’s vision for the team, and for his own individual role at the powerhouse – adding that he believes he will have a chance to come in and compete as a freshman once he graduates in 2015.
The veteran coach was able to convince Briar Woods quarterback Trace McSorley to follow him to Happy Valley after McSorley had initially committed to the Commodores. Penn State also garnered 2014 signings from Fairfax running back Nick Scott, DeMatha running back Mark Allen and Wise safety Marcus Allen.
McLean is the 12th prospect in Penn State’s class of 2015 to commit, including the third from the Washington area. Gaithersburg defensive end Kamonte Carter and Briar Woods wide receiver Brandon Polk pledged to the school earlier this month.
“We’re the number one recruiting class in the country right now,” McLean said.
The 6-foot-2, 270-pound McLean, solidified his recruiting stock after a solid junior campaign in the fall. Constantly drawing double teams, he recorded 47 tackles, including seven sacks and 10 tackles for a loss in helping lead a dominant Quince Orchard defense to five shutouts.
Recruit Watch: The latest offers, commitments and signings