Vidalia High School
6-6, 288 lbs, Senior
4.9 seconds in the 40
He is the most feared defensive lineman in the area. “Whoever has the ball, I'm going to crush him,” says Eric McClendon. “I just want to take his head off. If you set foot on my field, it’s my duty to hurt you. It’s as simple as that.”
Eric McClendon is a man among boys. At 6-6, 288 pounds, he commands a lot of attention from opponents and fans, “I love the attention,” says McClendon. “I love the pressure. I love to show everybody what I can do.”
Coach Sid Fritts says, “He has natural ability. This year, he’ going to start playing like it.”
During their recent camp week, McClendon stepped forward. He bench pressed 385 pounds, 570 in the squats and power cleaned 350. That’s pretty impressive in itself, but he also had the best vertical jump on the team at 37.5 inches.
He loves playing to the crowd that will lavish a lot of attention on the top players in any school, “I love it,” says McClendon. “It makes you want to just keep on doing it (making big plays). That’s another reason I love to play the game.”
A lot of attention is coming from the college recruiters. Fritts says, “From Michigan to Miami and everywhere in between,” recruiters are showing a lot of interest.
However, he got behind in his core classes his freshman year and is still trying to catch up. That will force him to spend a year in a prep school before going to an NCAA Division 1 school.
McClendon’s choice would be the University of Georgia, but there are so many others calling his house and writing letters. Does he get tired of the recruiting process, “Not really,” says McClendon. “You just block it out of your mind, tell them what they want to hear or what you want them to hear.”
You can be he'll start making his mark on the college scene in the 2005 season.