Highly-touted Aledo running back Jase McClellan is keeping his options open. Well, at least a few of his options.
The long-time Oklahoma Sooners pledge has been committed to the program since the summer of 2017 when the Lincoln Riley era was only days old, and for the most part, he’s remained entirely solid to the Sooners.
However, the five-star talent hasn’t quite shut the door on three programs still actively in pursuit of his services — Texas, Alabama, and Georgia.
McClellan’s interest in Texas and Alabama was most apparent last month, as he utilized official visits to Austin and Tuscaloosa on June 14 and June 22, respectively.
“It was a good experience,” McClellan told Burnt Orange Nation’s Joe Hamilton at The Opening of his Texas visit. “Sat down with the coaches, see them outside of football as a person.”
McClellan’s latest trip to the Forty Acres wasn’t his first this offseason, as he was also on campus in January, and it likely won’t be long before he’s back around the burnt orange. Though the trip isn’t set in stone just yet, McClellan told BON that he’s aiming to return to Austin on Sept. 7 for the LSU game.
The close proximity to home that Austin offers has made it easy for McClellan to visit when he chooses, but it’s also largely why he remains interested in the Longhorns.
“It’s right next to home,” McClellan said of why he still has interest in Texas. “My family likes the school. It’s a great place.”
Texas running backs coach Stan Drayton remains in frequent contact with McClellan, and the pitch remains simple — Texas not only wants him, but needs him, and that’s fairly evident in what’s already a shorthanded running back room in Austin.
That said, McClellan isn’t interested in simply adding depth to Drayton’s room.
If Texas hopes to ultimately flip McClellan after he’s remained firm to his commitment to Oklahoma for nearly two years now, they’ll have to sell him on his place in the offense and an opportunity to be impactful as a true freshman.
To that end, Texas does boasts some tremendous young talent in the form of sophomore Keaontay Ingram, whom McClellan says he has a relationship with, and true freshman Jordan Whittington, but McClellan puts up the kind of video game-esque numbers that any offense would want on the field early and often. McClellan capped the 2018 campaign with 2,073 yards and 47 touchdowns on 269 attempts, and prior to that effort, he collectively totaled 3,127 rushing yards and 48 touchdowns throughout his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Now, only one season remains until McClellan is off to the Power 5 ranks, but between now and then, Texas will continue to do everything it can to convince McClellan to suit up with them, rather than against them.