Hokies and Oscar Smith's Bruising Tailback Seem Like a Perfect Fit

Deshawn McClease is a three-year starter at perennial powerhouse Oscar Smith High in Chesapeake.

He rushed for more than 1,600 yards and scored 30 touchdowns last season in the Tigers' multiple-formation, quick-paced offense.

Coach Richard Morgan kept him games during empty sets as a slot receiver.

McClease also blacked out during a 54-yard touchdown run in the 2011 state title game.

But last weekend, the 5-foot-9 back did something a little different. He served as unofficial tour guide to other recruits on a visit to Blacksburg. It only made sense — it was his fourth or fifth time at the school.

"It was a pretty good trip," McClease said. "I can't ever find anything bad to say about it. I enjoyed building a relationship with Coach Shane (Beamer).

"We really didn't communicate at first. I like that he's straightforward about everything."

The young man spoke in glowing terms of Tech's recruitment and his relationship with former Oscar Smith star J.C. Coleman.

In fact, Coleman's injury during McClease's freshman season is what put him on the field at an early age.

When the latest Tigers tailback visited for last fall's Duke game, he got a taste of the game day atmosphere at Lane Stadium.

"The 'Enter Sandman' thing, I've never seen anything like it," McClease remembered. "It was so loud."

Hokies fans might not know it yet, but McClease is the type of back they normally embrace.

He doesn't dance and doesn't hesitate to name his favorite play — inside zone. McClease hopes to play at 180 pounds next season. He's worked diligently in the weight room and cited improvements in his routes as a key to his training.

"We gave it to him 46 times in a state semifinal because that's what we needed," Morgan said. "He has the mentality of a 220-pounder; he's a bruiser, very physical and with a 4.4 40 time he can run away from you."

Some backs evolve into "bruisers." For McClease, it's all he's known.

"That's how I've been since I was six years old," he said. "I've never been a juker. When I run up the middle and between the tackles, I can make more happen.

"In this game, it's hit or be hit. I'd rather deliver it."

He also studies former Tech back David Wilson's game films. While it seems the Hokies and McClease are match made in heaven, the junior isn't ready to call the race.

McClease has no immediate plans to announce his college choice, though he said it will likely come before the 2014 season.

Howard said his star rusher benches 260, squats 400 and power cleans around 235 pounds. He owns a 3.1 GPA and hopes to major in sports marketing.

While his list might not be narrowed down yet, McClease remained clear about one thing — Tech will be in the race until the very end.

The back who's nicknamed Shady yet sees himself more in the mold of Jamaal Charles, knows the track record of Hokies backfield talent.

"If you do your research, they've had running backs go to the league or they've had really successful college backs there," he said.

Deshawn's highlights are available on his Hudl.


I would love to seem him end up as a Hokie! Hoping JC recruits him hard and that McClease can follow in his footsteps

he runs in a similar way to adrian peterson, but with more quickness and a bit less power

Yes, his words were all about running with power, but I watched the first few minutes of his Hudl and saw almost all speed and elusiveness.

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

I would love to continue the Oscar Smith pipeline. Tons of talent there.


Go Hokies

Go Falcons

Hope he commits to the good guys and soon, and then recruits Sweat and some other great players to join him.

"Give me a fu¢king beer", Anonymous Genius

"McClease also blacked out during a 54-yard touchdown run in the 2011 state title game."

What does this mean? Does he need to get an MRI or something? It seemed out of place in the article. You can't just say something like that and give no more info...

Thanks for the write up.


I was wondering about that too.

Sorry guys, I could have been more clear there. Essentially, he doesn't remember what happened. Here's his quote.

"Coach put me in, it was a trap play. The hole was so wide, it was off to the races. After I hit it, I just kinda blacked out."

As long as memory comes back with him in the end zone celebrating with a slice of pie and the football does anybody really care?

I was concerned about this as well. I thought he might have medical issues. Glad to hear it was just a figure of speech.

However, if he happens to black out frequently and go into Hulk mode, that'd be ok, too. As long as it's only on the football field.

See: Boyce, Xavier and Holmes, Michael. :-\

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Old School

“These people are losing their minds. This is beautiful.”

"Sports Marketing." Is that a major?

Reality has a mighty pimp hand.


Yes, but more importantly, does VT have that as a degree bearing curriculum?

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

All we have is regular marketing and then communications has an option for a focus in entertainment. He could do some sort of combination if he liked but no official sports marketing program. I believe this is the program that Hand wanted last year and crossed us off for not having?

-Stick it in

sorry but just thought of this in my head. If we would have got Hand we would have had Hand Wang Chung

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

In practice we could have had the Hand on Wang matchup....


At first I laughed and then you gave me a sad.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Considering the amount of interns that the marketing department has here, I'd say there is an option for the sports side of marketing.

Didn't we lose Da'shawn Hand because we didn't offer this major?

No, that was just his way of letting us down easy. Here's what he said after committing to alabama...

On top of that, Dean Karr, the engineering dean, he's a football guy. I love that guy. I love civil engineering and they have that major and a couple of players that actually play now are taking that major

You tell me who has a better engineering school.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I bet it's because had he joined our engineering school, he would have had to actually, y'know, engineer something.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

My vote: Virginia Tech

Sports marketing is a class in high school which is basically normal marketing, but with fantasy football added in. It's kind of laughable that any college would waste their effort making a sports marketing program...

There is a degree called Sport Business which is what my degree is and its definitely revolved around sports/local sports teams. At my university we did a lot with the Cleveland Browns and Indians.. It seems like the school has to have a sports area to make it happen. But until then they will add the name sports before marketing and call it a deal.

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

Money from sports is anything but laughable. If there is money to be made there are jobs to be had.

what do you mean by that?

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

Sports business has become so gigantic it is beginning to warrant more and more schools creating programs. Between television, sponsorships, sporting goods, etc a sports business degree has a lot of value. Our culture has a huge focus on sports from youth level to professional. I know when I was in college admissions process I was definitely looking at those programs. Not to mention curriculum is a lot more interesting to quite a few people I'm sure.

Gotchaa.. I agree. I was hoping it was a good reference and not another athlete's do it for $ reference.

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

5'9 175
4.40 40 time

4* on 247... high 3* with the composite rankings... 247 ranks him #11 in Virginia

Its interesting... Looks like some other rectuiting agencies REALLY soured on him recently. Since January, his composite ranking overall has fallen from around 250 to 458.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Michigan and Alabama have sports marketing. Deshawn Hand would know.

3rd and 10=QB sneak

Explain to me how 5'9" 180lb is "bruising"?

As the saying goes, "it's not what you've got, it's how you use it."

It's not the size of the boat...

What's Important Now
The Lunchpail.
The Hammer.

it's the size of the wave... wait, no... ah crap.

its the motion of the lotion... crap, that's not it either.

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Every time I hear/see the word lotion I can only think of this:

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Yea, I'm wondering the same

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson

I'm guessing that it's mostly because of his running style, that he's the type of runner that doesn't shy away from contact and does his best to run through it instead. For a 16 year old (guessing his age) kid, 180lbs is a pretty good size, especially at his height and he could be up around 190-200 as a Senior. I'm around that height and in High School I never got much over 150lbs, by the time I finished my associates degree, I was 200lbs. Granted that was mostly from having a McDonald's right next the the community college I attended (when I transferred to Liberty I dropped down to 180lbs without even trying to lose weight), but I think between getting Gentry-fied and going on JC Coleman's "I don't want to redshirt diet" he could easily be over 200lbs after a couple months in the program. Since Marshawn Williams and Shai McKenzie won't be eligible for the draft until McClease is a Sophomore/R-Freshman and DJ Reid and Tabyus Taylor (though Taylor could end up on Defense) are enrolling a year ahead of him as well. So I would expect him to have at least a year or two to put on weight before he's called on to get any carries.

I saw him play in the state title game this year and he didn't exactly impress me.

Has a man open...caught! Danny Coale!

Centreville won that game 35-6, so it's highly likely that nobody from Oscar Smith was impressive that day playing against them.

"I saw Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl this year and he didn't exactly impress me."

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Hi McClease!


"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay