football

Ten offers and counting for McClure

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VISTA, Calif. - The interview starts with a firm handshake, Stefan McClure introduces himself with a smile and then for about eight minutes has thoughtful responses to questions, an engaging 2011 prospect who already has 10 offers and could easily pick up more.
Let any college coach talk to McClure and the coach is sure to be impressed.
"I don't think he's ever had a detention," Vista coach Dan Williams said, only half-joking that McClure would ever find himself in that kind of predicament, let alone be a troublemaker.
Arizona and Oregon are the two newest programs to offer McClure, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound cornerback from Vista who also has UCLA, Boise State, Washington, Colorado, Colorado State, Minnesota, Oregon State and San Diego State offers.
The first five teams stand out the most but it's still early for McClure, who is hearing from Tennessee, Stanford and Nebraska and has also had Cal, USC and some Big Ten programs show interest.
By all accounts, McClure is a good kid, a good student, a thoughtful person, considerate enough to stop talking while the bell rang between classes so his quotes weren't muddled. He's a kid that looks people in the eye when he talks. He's confident and savvy, smart but still nice enough to seem genuinely excited about how well the recruiting process is going.
McClure is a rare combination, Williams says, who knows how to turn on the intensity once the football is kicked off but is a "great kid off the field, too."
"He doesn't play like he's the guy," Williams said. "He plays to win and stays within himself and does everything we ask him to do.
"I've been doing this for 18 years and I've seen the good ones and I've seen the selfishness in the good ones that everything is about them. He's definitely not a 'me guy' at all and that makes him special.
"He'll go work with the quarterbacks to get them better and he'll work with the younger kids in the secondary. He'll do things like that. He's big time. He doesn't have to do that. He can just ride the wave and not do it. That doesn't even cross his mind."
One thing that has crossed McClure's mind is just how long he's going to deal with the recruiting process and he doesn't mind waiting to make a commitment. He wants to take official visits mainly to out-of-state schools. Some programs are trying to figure out where they stand with McClure but he's trying to take his time and not rush a decision.
McClure isn't doing it for publicity. He just wants to be deliberate and think things through.
"There is kind of a process because a lot of schools call you and tell you to start thinking of a top three and they want to know if you're really interested in their school," McClure said. "Right now I'm looking at getting it narrowed down to a top five, which ones I could see myself taking visits to and then going to."
Washington, Oregon, Boise State and UCLA could get official visits and McClure said he could go to Arizona's summer camp. That would cover his top five but he doesn't want to narrow his focus yet because other teams could get involved.
Tennessee is expected to visit Vista Thursday and the Volunteers have shown lots of interest. Cal coaches have reportedly told Williams they believe McClure is one of the top defensive backs on the West Coast. New programs regularly get involved.
For McClure, waiting isn't a problem. It could be for the coaches, he admits.
"Not for me, more so for the coaches but not as hard for me," McClure said. "If I take two offers and find one I really like I can see myself committing because it's going to be a long time to wait every week but other than that it's just playing football and picking where I want to go for next year after I see the campuses."
Williams said waiting could be difficult, it's just hard to be patient that long, but also because some coaching staffs press recruits to make a commitment. That hasn't been the case with McClure's top teams - maybe one reason why he likes those schools the most.
"It's a hard decision for kids these days because of all the offers that do go out and the kids are getting pressured," Williams said. "You have an ideal school that you'd like to see and he's been told the offer might not be there until the end. It's part of the game, the nature of the beast.
"He would like to take his trips to find the best spot. There are schools that will be patient enough with him to let that happen and that's a credit to them to allow him to find out the best place he needs to be."
Oregon offers fantastic facilities - all the NIKE stuff, McClure said - and the Ducks have taken a nationwide approach to recruiting which also intrigues the Vista defensive back.
Washington has a young, vibrant coaching staff that McClure has talked to many times and continues to be impressed with. Coach Steve Sarkisian and secondary coach Demetrice Martin especially stand out.
"You go on the Web site and you see all the stuff they have, the training facilities and everything, so that's pretty nice just being able to have all that," McClure said of Oregon. "Plus the people they bring in there, like every school in the Pac-10, they're trying to go nationwide and get all the best people. It's pretty impressive.
"I talked to (Sarkisian) on the phone, same thing with the cornerbacks coach, coach Martin, they're just pretty young guys, the whole coaching staff is pretty young, so they relate to you pretty well and they're pretty fun guys to talk to and be around. I'd love to see what kind of energy they have when they're coaching because just on the phone they're pretty energetic."
UCLA was a childhood favorite for McClure, who said the Bruins stand out because they have allowed wide receiver Nelson Rosario to run track as well, something McClure wants to attempt in college.
"I grew up liking (UCLA) and even when I got to high school I liked that one because a guy from El Camino went there, Nelson Rosario, and they let him do football and track," McClure said. "I said my freshman year I could see myself going there and doing football and track. I've talked to (coach Rick Neuheisel) quite a bit and I took an unofficial out to their practice and so I've talked to their whole coaching staff a lot."
Former Vista wide receiver Troy Ware goes to Boise State and the coaching staff has been involved with McClure for a long time so the Broncos have his interest. Plus, Boise State is expected to be a top-five team in the preseason rankings, another bonus for the WAC program.
Arizona recently offered, just like Oregon, and so the Wildcats have quickly moved up for McClure, too, who said he's interested in making a trip to Tucson this summer.
"They're going to be up there in the top three (in preseason rankings) and I'm going to take a visit out there," McClure said of Boise State. "I talked to their coaches and I got an early jump, those were some of the first coaches involved because our receiver Troy Ware went there so they were at practice seeing him so I got to meet them a couple times.
"(Arizona has) been talking to me for a while but with the whole size thing they wanted to make sure face-to-face and size me up and then they offered me after that. They came here and said, 'OK, you're 5-11,' because they usually measure you to the coach they bring out here and he's 5-9 so they used that. It doesn't matter about the height really. It's more about how you play."
McClure can sure play. And carry on a conversation. Some coaches want him to commit soon so they can lock him up. But maybe this is just the beginning.
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