He wears No. 11 to honor one of the University of Alabama's best receivers in program history, Julio Jones.
2021 three-star wide receiver Malik McClain, a Yellow Hammer State native, who transferred from Daphne High School to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. in the winter for his senior season, recently picked up a scholarship offer to play for the Crimson Tide.
McClain talked to Sports Illustrated All-American's John Garcia Jr. about the latest update in his recruitment which included his reaction to snagging an offer from one of the nation's football powerhouses.
"It is big time for sure," McClain said. "They use to send me letters. I did not know how everything would happen. It feels different than other ones because you are from the state. It is just bigger."
Alabama wide receiver coach Holmon Wiggins was the one who extended the offer to the 6-foot-5, 195 pound pass catcher. After the 2020 season, senior Devonta Smith will have graduated and junior Jaylen Waddle will have an NFL decision to make so the pitch from the Crimson Tide coaching staff to McClain is about playing time.
"They are just telling me about the offense," McClain said. "All the guys they have put into the league and the guys they have leaving next year."
In 2019 with the Trojans, McClain caught 26 passes for 474 yards and five touchdowns. The combination of strength, height, and quickness have led to offers from Florida State, Penn State, Miami, Maryland, Texas A&M, Kentucky, and Syracuse.
"Size and speed," McClain said of what the Crimson Tide coaches like in his game. "They like that I am from Alabama, that is another thing. I move quick laterally and stuff, too."
Along with Alabama, the Hurricanes, and South Carolina have been in contact with McClain the most over the past few weeks.
"There is a lot more coaches trying to talk because we are not doing anything and they are not busy either," McClain said. "It is a great time to build relationships."
McClain did not grow up an Alabama fan and part of that was because his brother, Marquis, played at Auburn. The Tigers have yet to offer the Daphne native.
"It is different because you have a lot of family influence being from here," McClain said. "I am not biased toward any school.'
The COVID-19 pandemic is not altering McClain's plans greatly because he was not looking to commit early. He plans on taking his time with the visits whenever the recruiting dead period is lifted.
"I am going to take everything into consideration," McClain said. "I do not want to rush anything that is why it is not frustrating right now that I can not take any visits."
McClain is back home with his family in Alabama and the tentative plan is to return to IMG on April 20.