FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. –The Offense-Defense All-American Game might be in Florida, but the blood of Rolando McClain is still the color of crimson. McClain is a member of the Rivals100, but he talks like he is already officially a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
"I arrived down here Saturday morning," McClain, the four-star outside linebacker from Decatur, Ala., said.
"My travel coming down here went fine. The flight went well and everything, but it took a while to get to the hotel. After I checked in, I got fitted for pads, and all that. Then, I met my roommate Michael McNeil. He is a cool guy, a very interesting guy. We just hung out at the hotel for a while before going to dinner at night."
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McClain, who committed earlier this summer to Alabama, couldn't hold his feelings about his future school private too long.
"It didn't take too long to tell someone about Alabama," he said. "As soon as I found out he wasn't committed yet, I told him about Alabama."
How solid is he to Alabama?
"Well, you see it on the hat, I have an Alabama dog tag on, and I have an Alabama undershirt on too," he said. "I have a lot of shirts, and I am really committed. Alabama is going to get an All-SEC and All-American linebacker for the next four years. I am going to come in strong ready to play for Alabama."
McNeil impressed McClain on the field Sunday.
"I didn't really know anything about him, but he really looked good out there," McClain said. "Some guys get on the internet to see these guys, but I don't do that too much. McNeil, the corners, and the linebackers we have on the East really stood out to me."
The talent here is different than what McClain is used to.
"At my high school, I was the best linebacker," McClain said. "Here, every linebacker, every offensive lineman, every defensive lineman and everyone at every position is just as talented."
How does he feel he performed on day one?
"I mean, I played well, but I didn't actually get to hit anyone because you want to take care of your teammates, but I performed well," he said.
He can't wait to show what he can do on the 7 p.m. EST broadcast on ESPNU.
"I am really looking forward to playing on national television and showcase my talents to some of the head coaches out there," he said. "I want them to know I am the No. 1 linebacker in Alabama for a reason."
McClain decided to share something many may not know about him.
"The thing that probably surprises a lot of people is, I am kid of shy in front of people," he said. "I am not outspoken at all, but on the football field, you hear me a lot. In my hometown of Decatur, my friends and family call me 'Boo.' I don't know why, but that is what they call. My grandma gave me that name, but I still to this day do not know why."