football Edit

UA Game: Oregon's stability, persistence won out for Jeremiah McClellan

ORLANDO - Relationships mattered most to Jeremiah McClellan and when it came down to decision day, the four-star receiver felt he had better ones with Oregon than Ohio State.

That’s how the St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers standout explained it Friday at the Under Armour All-America Game media day as to why he flipped his pledge from the Buckeyes to the Ducks on National Signing Day.


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“What made the difference for me was the relationship I had with the coaching staff,” McClellan said. “I really didn’t even know where I was going until I’d probably say the day of. That Wednesday is when I knew where I was going.

“I called coach (Brian) Hartline and them and told them I was parting ways. They weren’t happy about it, they weren’t excited about it, at all, but I had to do what’s best for me.

“His reaction was, how do I say this, he kind of expected it coming. He was very subtle with it but they really tried to get me back. They kept on trying to get me back and see if there was anything else I needed

“My relationship with coach (Dan) Lanning, coach (Junior) Adams and the whole entire coaching staff over there, I really liked that a lot.”

McClellan had been committed to Ohio State since August but the Ducks never backed down, especially down the stretch as the coaching staff went in-home numerous times.

Ohio State did as well but the connection with Oregon was just greater.

“Oregon came, their whole coaching staff came except for Lanning, and then everybody came again including Lanning, the offensive coordinator, the receivers coach, the tight ends coach and Lanning came, the running backs coach, they all came to see me and they showed a lot of love,” McClellan said. “I really felt at home with them.

“After that, Ohio State came. Coach (Ryan) Day and coach Hartline came to visit me, we sat down and talked for like three hours. We sat down (as a family) and talked pros and cons and I knew my decision on Wednesday.”

The family meeting revealed one thing: Everyone just seemed to gravitate toward the Oregon staff more.

“We had to sit down and talk about the pros and cons of each school and it really came down to Oregon and Ohio State, the pros and cons of each school, and what really stood out was the relationship I had with each staff and the relationship my parents had with each staff,” McClellan said. “We just knew everybody at Oregon.

“Coach Hartline did a really great job recruiting me. If there was any issue, he’d change it immediately and fix it right away but we just didn’t know a lot of people at Ohio State.

“I was treated like the No. 1 priority at Oregon.”

After the Under Armour week, McClellan goes home “for 12 hours” and then is off to Eugene on Jan. 5.

In his decision, there were other considerations. While he’s close with Ohio State signees Jeremiah Smith and Mylan Graham, McClellan also felt like the third receiver in the class in Columbus. He also likes the quarterback situation more for the Ducks after they landed Oklahoma starter Dillon Gabriel and former five-star Dante Moore from UCLA in the transfer portal.

“JJ is my dog,” McClellan said. “JJ and Mylan are my dogs. I just felt like the third wheel there. I feel like at Oregon I had a little bit more opportunity there.

“I feel like they have a more sturdy program than Ohio State right now. They have two very good quarterbacks right now so I’ll be set for the next four to five years. That was big for Oregon.”