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Florida Gators Earn Commitment from DL Chris McClellan

After a hard-fought battle with the other power five schools, the Florida Gators have secured a commitment from Tulsa defensive lineman Chris McClellan.

Photo: Chris McClellan; Credit: Zach Goodall

The SI99's No. 7 defensive lineman and 79th overall prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, Chris McClellan out of Owasso (Okla.) has announced his commitment to the Florida Gators on CBS Sports.

Following a summer period where McClellan was trending towards Ohio State, the Gators made up significant ground on the Buckeyes — and hometown Sooners — to push themselves into his unofficial top teams down the stretch.

Ultimately, Florida plucked him away from his home-state school and the Big 10 powerhouse, among others.

Leaving the midwest in favor of the southeast, McClellan joins No. 11 iDL Jamari Lyons on interior defensive line, establishing a firm foundation at the first level of the defense in the 2022 class. 

McClellan's pledge to UF comes at an interesting time, as Florida fired head coach Dan Mullen on Sunday and has yet to name his replacement moving forward. Meaning, McClellan has committed to a school without a coaching staff locked in, a rather unusual development that perhaps shows McClellan's allegiance to the program itself.

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Given the expected turnover of Florida's trenches following the 2021 season, he will likely see early playing time in his collegiate career, an aspect of the Gators pitch that intrigued him.

"They losing and guys man, and with a program like this, if you can get out there and play early, you know, that looks good for the NFL GMs and scouts," McClellan said. “So, that definitely has an appeal too but also just to become a legend here like Tim Tebow and do something great.”

Ranked as the No. 7 interior defensive linemen in the class, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound DL imposes his will on offensive lineman at the high school level. Using physicality, strong hands and burst off the ball, McClellan makes plays behind the line of scrimmage in the run game consistently.

Below you can find SI All-American's brief scouting report on the Owasso, Oklahoma, star.

Leanly built his way up to 290 on his way from defensive end to defensive tackle. Nice length. After watching his film, the first thing that sticks out is his long arms and his ability to quickly strike-and-shed blockers. He has good feet to match a very strong build. Great closing burst for a lineman.

It looks like he set up blockers for his moves, based on how effective some of his swims are. McClellan can get skinny through a gap when he needs to. Skilled when slanting into gaps. Fantastic pad level throughout his film. Active hands with a nasty punch. Easily manipulates blocker’s shoulder pads. Violent in every facet of his game. Solid tackler. He does most of his damage in between the tackles, slanting or stemming and disrupting. Every time the ball is snapped, he seems to have a plan for how he is attacking each blocker. Because he attacks with a plan in mind, he maximizes his already imposing physicality. 

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