In less than a week, running back prospect Deshawn McClease makes his decision on where he will bring his talents to the college level. After receiving offers from nine different universities, the halfback out of Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, Va., has narrowed his decision down to Maryland and Virginia Tech.
McClease, a member of the 2015 recruiting class, will decided between the two schools this Wednesday, July 16. Why make the announcement on July 16?
"It's my birthday and what's better than announcing where you will attend college than on your 18th birthday?" McClease said.
McClease, who calls himself "Flashy" on Twitter, did not attend either school's prospect camp but according to 247sports, he ran an official 4.40 40-yard dash time. The three-star tailback according to the 247sports compositesays Virginia Tech Recruiting Coordinator Bryan Stinespring and Outside Linebackers Coach Cornell Brown already have a plan in place for him.
"If I were to commit there, they want to use me more as a speed back," McClease said of the Virginia Tech coaching staff. "They want to run the two-running back system, which would include [incoming freshman] Marshawn Williams. They would use him as the bruiser and me as the homerun guy."
McClease says Maryland coaches Chad Wilt and Andre Powell told him they plan to use him in a similar manner, though perhaps he would be more involved in the offense if he were to choose to play for the Terrapins in 2015.
"[The Terps] plan on using me in more ways," McClease said. "[They want to] get me in the open field-inside zones, outside zones-stuff like that."
When it comes to the distance each school lies from his home, McClease says that will not play a factor. He is excited to be guaranteed a school close enough to home that he can make the occasional trip back, if necessary.
McClease also said that Maryland's move to the Big Ten impacts his decision.
"It's a bigger stage playing against teams like Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State-teams of that caliber," McClease said. "You play well against those teams and you'll be pretty successful [at the college level]."
The 5'9", 175-pound running back added that academics have a major influence on his decision, but he thinks highly of both Maryland and Virginia Tech's educational standards.
"I want to major in business and of course, Maryland and Virginia Tech have pretty good business programs," McClease said.
The similarities between the two schools are not making the decision any easier for McClease. The rising senior has one more visit left to Virginia Tech before making his decision to show his parents the Hokies' campus; they have already seen (and liked) the Terrapins'.
So what will ultimately be the deciding factor on which school he chooses?
"I am going to look at it from different points of view," McClease said. "If you were to take away football, would I be happy [at that school] for three, four or maybe five years."
McClease is rated as the 48th-best running back in the nation and the 22nd-best prospect in the state of Virginia.