Some teenagers look at photographs of NFL players and dream of playing on Sundays. Robert McClain is a little more grounded -- he looks at those images and tries to replicate them.
The Patuxent senior running back can't scan a sports magazine without his sketch pad at his side. Just three weeks ago, he came across a photo of former Washington Redskin Champ Bailey in a menacing pose on the field and was captivated. He immediately started to sketch the image.
"It's probably my favorite one yet," McClain said.
McClain's portfolio numbers more than 100 football players, including Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens and many others sporting the colors of the University of Miami, McClain's favorite team.
"I think I want to be an art teacher," said McClain, who plans to apply to colleges that offer degrees in graphic design.
McClain, whose family moved to the area from Aurora, Colo., two years ago, is taking three art classes this year and said he wants to focus on improving his painting. He said he is most comfortable using pencil or charcoal.
McClain also is quite comfortable wearing a helmet and pads and zipping past defenders. Following a standout summer at football camps and combines, McClain, who now packs 190 pounds onto a 5-foot-10 frame, will shoulder most of the workload for an otherwise inexperienced Patuxent offense.
It should provide McClain plenty of opportunities to combine his two passions into one masterpiece.
"I want to get a picture of me in the newspaper," he said, "so I can draw that."