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  • Pernell: Interview with Jarques McClellion

    Jarques McClellion of American Heritage-Boca-Delray High School in Delray Beach, Florida, is currently rated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports, Rivals and Scout, and is not yet rated by ESPN. McClellion, who was offered by Nebraska a little more than two weeks ago, already has several offers from schools in the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Big 12. Nebraska is looking to add two or three cornerbacks in the 2017 class along with a couple safeties. McClellion has the physical traits that defensive coordinator Mark Banker and defensive backs coach Brian Stewart desire. Jarques is over 6 feet tall and has the physicality and athleticism to play corner or safety on the college level. That versatility is something this staff values. I had the opportunity to interview Jarques in an attempt to gain some insight into his recruiting experience. The following is a transcript from that:

    Q: What kind of things do you do for fun?
    A: Just work out with close friends and do 1-on-1's, perfecting my craft.

    Q: At what age did you start playing football?
    A: The first chance I had to touch the pigskin was when I was 6 years old, playing for the Boynton Bulldogs.

    Q: What was your favorite college team growing up?
    A: My favorite team was Florida State because of Mr. Prime Time.

    Q: Have a favorite NFL Team?
    A: My favorite NFL team is the San Diego Chargers.

    Q: Which is better, the NFL or college?
    A: To me, I feel like college is more exciting than the NFL. College fans' emotions are out of this world.

    Q: Do you try and emulate any specific player?
    A: My cousin Brandon Flowers.

    Q: Any particular reason for the jersey number?
    A: I wear the #5 to represent the five angels who are looking over me right now.

    Q: When and who was your first scholarship offer?
    A: I got my first offer from Michigan State during spring of my sophomore year.

    Q: How many scholarship offers do you currently have?
    A: I have around 15-18 offers right now.

    Q: Is there a school that hasn't offered you that you would like to see do so?
    A: The three schools I would like to get offers from are Florida, USC and Notre Dame.

    Q: What are some of the considerations you have when deciding between schools?
    A: This recruiting process, I feel like, is a relationship. The team that shows the most love I will go to at the end of the day, even if it's not a big name school.

    Q: Who are the schools currently on your list for consideration? Any leaders?
    A: Right now it's an even playing field for all of the teams that have offered me.

    Q: Do you pay attention to the recruiting momentum of the teams you are considering?
    A: Yes I do. I have to do my research.

    Q: Did you attend any school's Spring Game?
    A: I attended LSU's.

    Q: Do you plan on attending any camps or combines this summer?
    A: I have a busy schedule planned for this summer with my 7-on-7 stuff. Lots of traveling. I am going to try and find time to go to some camps too but it will be up to my father.

    Q: You got your offer from Nebraska on May 5th. Have you thought about trying to make it to Lincoln this summer to check out the Huskers?
    A: Yes, of course.

    Q: Nebraska will be a part of a satellite camp in Tampa on June 12. Have you thought about making the 3 1/2 hour drive up to attend?
    A: I'm talking to my parents about it. But at the end of the day, I will go and see.

    Q: Who is currently recruiting you the hardest?
    A: Right now Arkansas is recruiting me the hardest.

    Q: Have you thought about who you might want to officially visit?
    A: Not yet.

    Q: Nebraska defensive backs coach Brian Stewart has several years experience as a defensive coordinator, including time in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. Does it excite you to possibly get coaching from a guy with his résumé?
    A: Yes it does because he knows what he is doing and if I decide to go there he will make me a better player.

    Q: You are the ideal profile that Husker coaches are looking for in their corners to play in their cover 4. You're tall, long and athletic. Do you think you'd like to play in a quarters coverage like Nebraska employs?
    A: Yes, I would love to.

    Q: It is usually difficult for a team outside of the SEC/ACC footprint to recruit kids away from the region. Are you open to leaving the South and attending school somewhere like Nebraska?
    A: I don't know yet.

    Q: What do you feel are some of your playing strengths?
    A: When coach tells me it's 'man', I will go against the opposing teams' best receiver and make sure that he does not touch the ball.

    Q: What are some things you would like to work on between now and college?
    A: I want to work on everything to keep perfecting my craft.

    Q: How would you feel about redshirting?
    A: If that's what is best for me I will have no problem with it. But I would like to play as a true freshman.

    Q: What is the most annoying aspect of the recruiting process?
    A: Nothing. I am blessed to be in the situation I am in right now.

    Q: Do you have a major in mind?
    A: Sports medicine

    Q: What are your goals for your senior season?
    A: To win a state championship.

    Q: Do you have any individual goals for your college career?
    A: My goal will always be to lead the country in interceptions.

    Q: What do you think you will miss the most about high school?
    A: Just being raised in south Florida, the one thing I'm going to miss is the competition everyday. Going against your brother is making you a better player on the field and a better person off the field.

    Q: What is the craziest sales pitch you have heard during your recruitment?
    A: That anything I want I can get if I go to their school.

    Q: Do you have a time frame as to when you would like to commit?
    A: Most likely after summer if I feel comfortable with my decision and if my family is ok with it.

    Q: Would you like to graduate early and enroll at your school in January?
    A: No. At my school (American Heritage) the head master makes it clear that no senior can leave early for college. We have to stay through the rest of the year.

    Q: Have you talked with any prospective recruits about attending the same school?
    A: Not yet.

    Q: What are 3 things on your 'Bucket List'?
    A: I don't have one.

    Q: Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
    A: I feel like it's my father. When I was young he used to wake me up before sunrise and we just worked out. It helped me out in the long run, making sure I stayed out of trouble and teaching me how to be a leader. Most of all, everyday he tells me to be better than he was.

    Prior to contributing to HuskerMax, Jeremy Pernell co-founded the all football website He served as the editor in chief of the college football portion of the website which focused heavily on recruitment and talent analysis, including the NFL Draft. You can email him at
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