Rivals100 for 2007: No. 76 overall
Rivals.com outside linebackers: No. 4
Rivals.com Alabama top 25: No. 5
Another of Alabama's top prospects is heading to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl with something to prove.
Decatur (Ala.) linebacker Rolando McClain will play for the East squad in the game, which kicks off at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4 at Lockhart Stadium.
"I like being in the game," McClain said. "My football team got put out of the playoffs earlier in the year, so it will be good to play football again. I feel like I am the best right now linebacker-wise in the state. I have never been exposed linebacker-wise to a team like we will be playing down there (at the game), so it will be good to see where I am at."
Five facts about Rolando McClain
• Admires former president Bill Clinton
• Favorite movie is "Glory Road"
• Also plays basketball.
• Sports dream is to win a National Championship
• Plans to major in Engineering.
The game will be televised by ESPNU. Rivals.com is the official selection partner of the game.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound McClain joins Mobile McGill-Toolen defensive end Sidell Corley, Mobile Davidson safety Michael McNeil and Hoover defensive tackle Kerry Murphy as representatives of the Yellowhammer State in the game.
McClain is a pioneer of sorts. His school has never had a player participate in a national high school all-star game.
"We have never had All-American from my school, so it's an honor to go and represent my school in the game," he said.
McClain's size and speed (he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds) are the physical aspects of his game that make him a valued prospect, but his mental approach is of equal value.
"I learn very easy," McClain said. "Football-wise, I think the easiest part to me is the learning aspect. The hardest part is going out there night in and night out and playing. I read things well and then I get in there and deliver a blow."
Delivering blows is something that McClain, who also plays tight end, enjoys about the linebacker position.
"My favorite part about linebacker is to get everywhere around the field," he said. "I like being able to hit somebody."
McClain admires Decatur High head coach Jere Adcock and credits him with a good portion of his development.
"He has been my coach for the last three years," he said. "I look at him as a father figure. I have played on teams that he coaches where his sons are playing and he treats us no different than his sons. There is very little difference. He's a good coach and a good man to look up to. He always speaks about courage. He tries to teach about football, but also about life. The most important thing is to get the tools for life, to be a better man and a better son."
McClain has committed to the University of Alabama.
"Really, I just grew up wanting to go to Alabama," McClain said. "It was close to home and I felt like something I wanted to do, so I did it."