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Watch Now: Owasso DL Chris McClellan names Florida as college choice
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Watch Now: Owasso DL Chris McClellan names Florida as college choice

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Owasso vs. Broken Arrow (copy)

Owasso’s Chris McClellan (2) sings the school’s alma mater with teammates following the Rams’ 42-3 win over Broken Arrow on Sept. 10.

He had identified the OU among six finalists, which also included Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and Southern California.

The University of Florida may be looking for a new football coach, but the Gators stand to gain a highly touted defensive lineman.

Owasso four-star prospect Chris McClellan announced his commitment Tuesday to the Gators of the Southeastern Conference.

McClellen chose Florida over offers from 33 other Division I programs. On Aug. 4, he identified the University of Oklahoma and Florida among six finalists that also included Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and Southern California.

He said he wasn't discouraged that the Gators fired head coach Dan Mullen in his fourth year at the helm, following Saturday’s 24-23 overtime loss to Missouri.

“Even though they may get a new coach, you have to be in love with the culture of the place. I really feel like I have a chance to grow there, not only as a player but also as a person,” he said.

The 6-foot-3, 295-pound senior announced his decision during a CBS Sports HQ streaming event and before about 300 spectators, including family and friends, in the Owasso Wellness Center.

For drama, McClellan sat at a table with hats representing OU, Florida, Alabama and Ohio State and feigned uncertainty for a few seconds when it was time to decide. Then, he grabbed the Florida hat and pulled it down on his head. The room erupted in applause.

McClellan said he was drawn to the school’s sports media program. He might want to try sports journalism when his playing days are through.

“Me and my friends all sit around and talk about sports and analyze it all day long,” he said. “So why not get paid for it at the same time.”

McClellan, who moved from Edison as a senior, is ranked 101st nationally, the No. 18 defensive tackle and state's No. 3 prospect by the 247Sports Composite. He is also ranked 103rd nationally and No. 3 in the state by Rivals.

“He’s special, there’s no question about that,” Rams coach Bill Blankenship said. “I think he checks a lot of boxes. Along with all the physical stuff, he’s very coachable and a good citizen. I’d love to coach him again.”

McClellan said he profited from working with Jordan Johnson, the Rams’ strength and conditioning coach.

“He’s worked in a lot of Division I programs and that really stood out to my family,” he said.

Said Blankenship: “When (McClellan) came over and got in our off-season program, you very quickly realized he’s not just a guy with a long frame that doesn’t have great body strength. He came in here with good strength and really developed it more.”

McClellan had 11 solo tackles and 35 total stops this season, helping lead the Rams to an 8-3 record and a Class 6A I postseason berth. He also had two sacks, one fumble recovery and 10 QB hurries.

Tony Daniels, McClellan's former Edison head coach, was also in the audience Tuesday. In his two seasons at Edison, McClellen totaled 106 tackles and 11 sacks.



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