Robert McClain is fast. And Patuxent's standout running back knows how to use his speed. As the regular season heads into the final two games, McClain is seeking to make one last impression on potential suitors.
Through eight games this season, McClain has rushed for 947 yards, caught 18 passes for 362 yards and returned five kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns. McClain rushed 303 yards in one game this season and last week scored four touchdowns and held his own in what amounted to a heads-up duel with McDonough standout A.J. Wallace.
And yet, while Wallace went on an official visit to Nebraska the next morning, McClain has just two scholarship offers -- from Kent State and Towson.
"Whoever's not looking at him is foolish," McDonough Coach Dave Bradshaw told The Post's Alan Goldenbach after last week's game. "We tried everything we could to keep the ball away from him."
McClain has come a long way from his sophomore year, when he enrolled at Patuxent after moving from Aurora, Colo. He had one kickoff return for a touchdown that season, then scored 10 touchdowns -- three rushing, seven receiving -- last season before bursting onto the scene. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the Nike combine at Penn State in April then followed that up with strong play this season.
McClain has gained more than 300 all-purpose yards in five consecutive games. Last week, against McDonough, he rushed for 70 yards and one touchdown and caught four passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns. He scored on a 59-yard run, an 84-yard kickoff return, a 31-yard swing pass and a 62-yard fly pattern.
"I wanted to show any other colleges that might have been here that I'm just as good as" Wallace, McClain said afterward.
Caparelli Bides Time
Robinson running back Lucas Caparelli has put his recruiting on hold until after the season, Rams Coach Mark Bendorf said. Caparelli has rushed for 1,024 yards and 15 touchdowns in eight games this season, averaging 8.6 yards per carry.
"The two in-state schools are after him pretty hard and most of the ACC, with the exception of the Florida schools, are recruiting him," Bendorf said. "He's told everyone he is focusing on his senior season and then he'll take his visits and pare things down."
Bendorf said he expects Caparelli to visit either Michigan State or Michigan (the Spartans have offered, the Wolverines have not yet) and several ACC schools. Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Duke and Pittsburgh are among those that have offered scholarships, Bendorf said.
With the week-long early signing period for basketball and other sports beginning Wednesday, a handful of players are making commitments, the latest being Springbrook guard David Brewster, who this week announced he will play for Richmond, and Friendly swingman Hillary Haley, who pledged to East Carolian.
George Mason had been recruiting both players, although the Patriots had not yet made a scholarship offer to the 6-6 Haley.
"The bottom line was they said he had a pretty good shot of starting as a freshman," Springbrook incoming coach Tom Crowell said of his 6-5 shooting guard. "He really liked the campus and the coaches. He wanted to sign early and get it over with. He's very, very happy."
Friendly Coach Brian Walker said that Haley told East Carolina coaches he was going to commit during a visit to the Greenville, N.C., campus last weekend. Walker said Friendly center Augustus Gilchrist, a 6-9 junior, has taken unofficial visits to Virginia Tech, Maryland and Pittsburgh, where former Friendly standout Sam Young is now a freshman.
Among those who already have made commitments and are expected to sign this week are: Potomac (Va.) guard Eric Hayes (Maryland), DeMatha guard Nigel Munson (Virginia Tech), Montrose Christian forward Kevin Durant (Texas), Herndon guard Scottie Reynolds (Oklahoma), Gonzaga center Jacob Green (West Virginia), O'Connell center Rockwell Moody (St. Joseph's), Eleanor Roosevelt forward Jourdan Morris (St. Bonaventure), Riverdale Baptist guard Chris McFarland (St. Frances, Pa.), Bullis guard Jeremy Myers (Central Connecticut), Paul VI Catholic forward Jean Cajou (Mount St. Mary's) and forward Danny Sumner (William & Mary).
The most notable player yet to announce a decision is Montrose Christian swingman Greivis Vasquez, who is believed to be choosing between Maryland, Virginia Tech, Boston College and Gonzaga.