The word given to the recruits at the Miami Hurricanes Elite Prospect camp on Saturday was that the other co-offensive coordinator position should be all summed up here in a couple of days. Today 247 reported Cristobal told recruits 90% of the staff will be in place by this Friday. Coaches had the chance to speak to the players about what Miami will be doing systematically on offense and by all accounts, the recruits are excited about the developments.
“What stands out about Miami to me is how their coaches explain how the want to coach you and not just tell you. Coach McClendon will be a huge reason I decide to go there if I decide to go there.”— GO ‘CANES! (@83_87_89_91_01) January 23, 2022
- Brandon Innis pic.twitter.com/ieXDPa6SIi
Late developing rumors have Bryan McClendon being considered for the WR coaching position at his Alma Mater, the University of Georgia.
Miami Co-OC/WR’s Coach Bryan McClendon has emerged as the leading candidate to be the new WR’s Coach at Georgia according to multiple sources.— Graham Coffey (@DawgOutWest) January 26, 2022
A former UGA receiver, McClendon coached under Mark Richt in Athens from 2007-2015
Whether he stays or goes, I wanted to provide you with a look into his mind as he expressed it to some of the nations top recruits at Miami’s Elite Prospect camp.
McClendon, who grew up in Georgia and played at the University of Georgia, went on to play with for Chicago Bears until sustaining an injury requiring three surgeries on his knee.
He told recruits that after the second surgery he got into coaching at the University of Georgia for nine years. He said he left UGA to coach at the University of South Carolina as the offensive coordinator and receivers coach for four years, and then he moved on to coach at Oregon for two seasons under Mario Cristobal. He followed Cristobal to Miami last month, and he shared film from a bunch of the guys that he’s recruited and coached along the way including AJ Green and Deebo Samuels.
McClendon listed 6 Critical Factors for the receiver’s he recruits and they are as follows:
1. Catch the ball (consistently and contested)
2. Dominate at the line of scrimmage
3. Separate and get open at a high level
4. Dangerous with the ball
5. Understand coverage/defenders
6. Turn big plays into touchdowns
McClendon touched on the measurables he looks at when recruiting a wide receiver and said this:
“What I look at when I’m teaching my guys this right here man if you can master these things right now this is what every great wide receiver does at a high level… not every now and then… so when you’re talking about catching the football it’s pretty simple, but it’s not it’s not always done at a high level, ok? So catching the ball consistently and making contested catches, if I can do those two things I’m always open… Doing those two things right now are what we work on on a day to day basis and that’s not negotiable… not one of those said man you gotta be 6’4 220 pounds running 4.3 ok…? alright... so again not one of those say man hey man I gotta work on cone drills over and over… none of that says that.”
When discussing his approach further with the Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers he stated:
“He’s throwing you the ball for you to catch it… one of the biggest things that you could get me upset with you as being your coach is coming to the sideline and saying hey I didn’t catch the ball ‘cause it was a bad ball, or I didn’t catch the ball because it was pass interference… We play the game like there’s no such thing as pass interference, so you come to the sideline telling me I didn’t catch it ‘cause he grabbed me you’re not going back in the game, Ok?!? Alright…”
He went on to discuss the need for his receivers to be able to catch the ball under duress…
“That’s one thing man right now… #1 if you can’t catch the football you’re playing the wrong spot… go to the DB room... I ain't got no problem with that… I don’t care how fast or how big you are man if you can consistently make contested catches you’ll do good”
McClendon moved on to the next items on his list by saying:
“#2 and #3 go together... you want dominating at the line of scrimmage and #3 right now being able to separate and get open at a high level. They gotta be able to do that right now at a high level… that is a must… if you can’t do that it’s gonna be hard for you to play ok…? alright...
#4 being dangerous with the ball in my hand and I say this over and over again man catching the ball is not enough, alright? Being able to score and do something after I have the ball in my hand consistently, not every now and then.”
#5 Understanding coverages and defenses is a must… you gotta be able to know and understand defense... ain’t too many routes in the NFL or college where you run a route regardless of the coverage or the leverage... you have to read and react. If its outside leverage and its 2 high, then I got this route... if its inside leverage with 2 high then its this route... its always readings to it... Dumb guys cant play wide receiver...
#6 Turning big plays into touchdowns and that’s a lot more than just catching a post and running in... on a run play or if the ball is thrown to the perimeter you have to be willing to block so your teammate can make it into the end zone... so right now man those are the critical factors right now that I feel like makes up a great receiver... being able to make plays once you have the ball in your hand... catching the ball is not enough... hey, catching the ball is not enough... so I never want to just sit up here and say coach I caught it… So what??? I mean what are you doing after the catch??? OK... what are you doing after the catch... ‘cause if all you’re gonna do right now is try to catch the ball then maybe you playing in the wrong spot...
He shared several examples of the points as he went over film from past players to help identify what that looks like for the recruits and in one portion of the presentation he stated:
“The only thing I wanna see when that ball is thrown at you is where you focusing on the point of the ball… focus on the point of the ball right here man the same thing catching that ball and then standing up and then doing something after the catch, Ok? That’s what makes guys different... a lot of people can go out there and catch this ball... that doesn’t make you different, right? And that’s not bad, it just means you need to go do something else... again I just wanna make sure that everybody understands that.”
On how he expects his receivers to practice:
“No matter what, in practice we’re gonna finish ten yards past the deepest defender… every time we catch we finishing 10 yards past the deepest defenders… the only way to get better at trying to score is to score in practice… going out there and doing it over and over again... I’ve been really really blessed to coach and recruit a bunch of really good players OK alright a bunch of them… I wanna make sure that you understand to play for me, or to play for coach Cristobal, understand this… We’re gonna push you just as hard off the field as you will get pushed on the field, OK? Because this is a direct reflection of each other… a direct reflection of each other… so if this hard for you to do… if its hard for you to pay attention to me and everything else this is probably not for you… OK?
As McClendon closed out his presentation, he left the recruits with wise words:
“The last thing I want to make sure that I say is this… there is nobody responsible for your success other than you… I don’t want to hear oh man this guy ain’t getting me the ball or man we running these type of plays and everything else… it’s about what you do with your gift…with what you're given... so nobody is more responsible for your success than you. The only thing you have in common with your opponent is time... are you using your time better than they’re using their time?”
Coach McClendon certainly talks the talk and has a track record of following through by producing a stable of productive receivers at each stop he's made during his coaching career. Will he stick around long enough to do that at Miami??? That remains to be seen... I’m not a betting man, but if I were, my money would be on him staying at Miami.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.