CHATANOOGA, Tenn. - Sometimes recruits make an extremely early commit, even before signing day is over for the class ahead of them. That was exactly the case for Chattanooga (Tenn.) Baylor offensive guard Jacques McClendon, who still remains committed to Tennessee, but is certainly looking around.
"I committed to Tennessee so early, because I knew a lot about them, it was close to home and I didn't want to burden my mother with the whole recruiting process," McClendon said.
"I am happy with the decision, but I am going to take all of my official visits and I'm going to listen to every school that wants to talk to me."
The 6-foot-3, 295-pound McClendon boasts offers from Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, North Carolina, Southern Cal and the newest addition LSU.
"One of the main things that I liked about Tennessee was coach Fulmer," McClendon said. "He was an offensive guard in college and that is what I will play when I get to college. Tennessee has sent a lot of lineman to the NFL over the years and that is the ultimate goal for any player."
Even though he is committed to the Vols McClendon continues to keep an open mind and not close the door on any opportunities at this time. Therefore, he is likely to visit other schools.
"I plan on taking all of my official visits, you only get to do this once so you have to have fun and take everything into consideration," McClendon said. "Once you choose a school you're there for four years so you better make the right choice. Those coaches are mom and dad for the next four years of your life."
What schools stand the best chance of garnering a visit from the talented lineman?
"I am going to be going to Auburn's A-day game in a few weeks with a teammate," McClendon said. "I am really looking at taking visits to LSU, USC, Auburn and Florida when the time comes, that is in addition to Tennessee of course."
McClendon, who is on academic scholarship at Baylor and lives on campus, compares himself to a current Vol and discussed his playing style.
"I compare myself to Cody Douglas because we are about the same size and he is real strong and that's his best asset like me," McClendon said. "I think offensively my strength is my explosiveness coming off the ball and it makes it hard for the defender to bulrush me. I think I need to work on the little things like my stance and technique. You can always improve your game."
McClendon will likely not attend any camps over the summer. He stated there is a chance he will attend the NIKE camp in Athens on May 14, but the details are still being worked out.
"When I first committed to Tennessee distance was a big factor for me, because I wanted to stay close to home for my mom," McClendon said. "Then I talked about it with here and she told me not to worry about that at all and go wherever I wanted to go. Wherever I go I want to be able to play for national championships, that's what it is all about."