Junior to Watch: Marcus McClinton
School: Fort Campbell, Ky.
Position: Defensive Back
Size and speed: McClinton is 6-foot-2, weighs 200 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.
Statistics: As a junior, he recorded 632 yards receiving, 189 yards rushing and 16 combined touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball. As a defensive back, he tallied 109 tackles and six interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. He also had two kick returns for scores.
Honors: Was selected Class 2A All-State, first-team All-Western Kentucky Conference, and named MVP of the All-Area team.
Favorite Schools: Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State.
Skinny: Kentucky has issued what is expected to be the first of many scholarship offers to come McClinton’s way this year.
“Kentucky was the first team to offer, and he’s very high on them,” Fort Campbell coach Shawn Berner said. “Joker Phillips has been doing a great job staying in touch with us and making sure we know how much they want him. I think we’re going to go to their team camp this summer.
“He’s also getting a lot of attention from Louisville, Michigan State, Auburn, Clemson, Tennessee, N.C. State, Duke and Memphis. That’s just a few of them. I get all kinds of calls about Marcus, and this is just the beginning of the process.”
Berner just beams when he speaks about the physical tools possessed by his star player.
“Marcus is 6-2, 200 pounds and can really run,” he said. “When you think about what a safety should look like, it’s him. He plays some receiver for us, too, but I think he’s going to project as a free safety. That’s where Kentucky sees him.
“He’s got great size and speed. He hits like a linebacker and covers like a corner. He’s got real nice hands and instincts for the game. Plus, he’s just a relentless kid on the football field. In fact, he’s relentless with whatever he does. We went to a weightlifting competition this weekend, and he took fifth, which wasn’t bad. But he wasn’t pleased with that at all. He’s really driven to win.”