For most of the recruiting season, Brunswick, Ga. offensive lineman Warren McClendon has been air tight regarding his recruiting plans. But over the weekend McClendon opened up talking to a variety of outlets and giving each a little more information than the next. GoGamecocks was the last to reach him Sunday night.
McClendon (6-foot-4, 304 pounds) has been focusing on South Carolina, Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee. He has visited each, except for Tennessee, and he knows enough about the schools to be almost all the way home with his decision.
"Well, I haven't really made the decision yet but I'm close to making it," McClendon said. "I want to say 90 (percent) but like, I'm pretty sure."
McClendon said he notified the top school a few days ago about what he was thinking.
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"It felt home and I just looked at the coaching staff and had a good talk with my parents and felt it was the best place for me," he said. "I feel really good about how they would use me and the offense they run."
USC and Georgia have family ties to McClendon. Gamecocks offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon is a relative, but he, of course, played and coached at Georgia. And another family member, Willie McClendon, also played for the Bulldogs.
About the strongest attraction to USC, Warren McClendon said, "Just the coaching staff and the players and just having my cousin there, Bryan, that's a boost, too. And for Georgia, he said, "Basically the same thing. The coaching staff, I feel the same thing with the coaching staff, Coach (Sam) Pittman. I've built a strong bond with Coach Pittman since the first of the year."
McClendon said he wants to visit all four schools again and talk more with his parents before finalizing his decision, something he'd like to get done by the end of August or the first two weeks of the season. He will not be able to attend USC's or Georgia's recruiting function the end of July because he'll be on vacation in Cancun.
McClendon said he's not sure how he will announce his decision but his dad prefers a full ceremony with the hats on the table, and that is being considered.