Abdul-Malik McClain a four-star defensive end in USC’s signing class of 2018 is just beginning his career in cardinal and gold. His younger brother Munir McClain, a three-star wide receiver committed to the Trojan class of 2019 only has to wait one more year to once again play alongside his brother. I spoke with mother Shan McClain and Munir about the recruiting process and what made USC stand out among the many scholarship offers.
USC summer football is underway with the freshman class of 2018 all moved in and ready to work down in south central.
Abdul-Malik McClain is one of the freshman from the No. 4 ranked signing class in the nation, and he will definitely be one to watch rise through the depth chart.
Hailing from J. Serra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, CA, McClain was a highly touted recruit with both size and skill. Measuring in at 6-4, 230 pounds, he has the potential to be the next Rasheem Green for the Trojans.
Surprisingly he only played one season of varsity football but it didn’t take long for him to be on the national radar, win J Serra’s Male Athlete of the Year Award, and rack up 15 offers all from Power Five schools.
McClain recorded 33 total tackles, 13 for a loss, and 11 sacks, earning him four stars and the No. 14 ranked weak-side defensive end accolade.
The Southern California native originally committed to UCLA in July of 2017, but after a strong recruitment by Johnny Nansen and USC, he flipped his commitment to the Trojans on December 20, during the first day of the newly established early signing period.
USC fans will not only get to watch one McClain, but two, for Abdul’s younger brother Munir McClain is set to join him on campus in 2019.
The three-star wide receiver from J Serra committed to the Trojans in April of this year, choosing USC and his brother over schools such as Nebraska, Arizona State, South Carolina, and Louisville.
Munir comes with size himself, standing at 6-4, 210 pounds and some trustworthy hands. In one season of varsity football he recorded 390 yards, averaging 65 yards per game, 19 receptions, and four touchdowns.
While Munir still has some time to rack up more stats before he puts pen to paper for USC, Clay Helton and the Trojans’ mantra will be hard for other programs to thwart.
The young receiver gave some insight on what made USC stand out from other schools,
“USC offers a great academic and football program. USC really lives up to their slogan faith, family and football.”
Helton’s coined slogan is becoming popular both with recruits and their families. To gain a different perspective on how the recruiting process goes, I spoke with Abdul-Malik and Munir’s mother Shan McClain.
Being a mom of two highly recruited athletes, did USC do anything above and beyond to make you feel at ease during a stressful process?
“USC went above and beyond by showing me respectfully that their athletic organization consisted of pure faith, family, education, and football. In the beginning of the recruiting process I met Coach Eric Ziskin. Eric was highly respectful and very family oriented. Next I met Coach Nansen at our home visit. Coach Nansen is a real family man that would care for my sons as they were his own. Nansen didn’t sugar coat anything and was straight to the point. Third, I met Coach Helton he was a respectful family man that cared about the well being of his student athletes. Helton cared about education, faith, family, and football. Later I met Coach T, Coach Colberth, and others. I pretty much knew USC was a life long family for my sons. As a mother of four I pretty much knew what type of environment I wanted my sons to be involved with. My intuition was with the Trojans. When the Trojans knock at your door, you answer. The Trojans took away any uncertainty or stress. Nothing had to be sold. Family environment! The door was open to paradise and the boys could walk right it. I know that timing is everything and the Trojans were right on time. Choosing USC was a perfect fit for both boys and the family overall. It was a no brainer once USC came to the party, we all knew as a family USC was the perfect fit for the boys.”
Did Abdul-Malik and Munir always want to go to USC? Did they grow up fans?
“Abdul-Malik and Munir always wanted to become Trojans. They liked other universities, but the Trojans were their all time favorite.”
There have been very talented wide receivers to come out of USC. Marqise Lee, Robert Woods, JuJu Smith-Schuster to name a few. Did the fact that they all translated well into the NFL have an impact on Munir’s decision to join such a deep receiver legacy?
“I’ve always advised the boys to study the history of the talented players in their special positions that transitioned to the NFL. Munir quickly identified that USC has a great history of wide receiver legends that transitioned smoothly to the NFL. Munir wants to be apart of that USC legacy. The deep receiver legacy does have a lot to do with Munir’s decision on being a Trojan.”
What is one piece of advice you would give all moms of recruits out there to handle such a whirlwind process?
“One piece of advice I would give is to think wisely in regards to whom they want their sons to be associated with and to see the recruiting process as a business and not to take anything personal. Stay focused and think long term for the well-being of your son as a student athlete. Always remember that you’re choosing a life long family.”