“I’m just really excited to be able to play at the next level. I have to put God first and thank him for the opportunities I’ve been granted,” expressed McClendon.
The local senior has anchored his Raiders defensively, and feels that his leadership abilities will be his greatest asset playing in college.
According to McClendon, football has been an important part of his life from a young age and has always felt like something he felt like he was meant to do.
“I’m going to miss putting on those pads on for Cleveland. It’s been a struggle, but to see my mom happy and to know I made it really means a lot,” he stated.
McClendon said he chose Carson-Newman because he can lay a strong foundation at the college around the ideas that he holds dear.
He’s going to have to help the Eagles battle back after the team finished 5-6 overall last year and had a 3-4 mark in the South Atlantic Conference.
“We’re very excited a lot of good young men and good football players are trusting us with the next four years of their lives,” stated C-N head coach Ken Sparks in a press release about the school’s 2012 recruiting class.
“We’re glad to be a part of the process of helping these young men be everything God created them to be. We’ve got a late start on some, so we’ve still got work to do on getting more pieces in place.”
C-N has won 21 South Atlantic Conference championships since 1983, claimed five NAIA national championships in the 1980s and has reached the NCAA Division II championship game three times in ’96, ’98 and ’99 according to the release.
Sparks in the 12th all-time winningest coach in the history of college. He will begin the 2012 season one win away from reaching 300 for his career.