Boyle’s McClure receives walk-on offer from UK recruiter

Published 2:30 pm Friday, June 7, 2024

Paul McClure has gone to Kentucky football games most of his life and recently posted a photo on social media of him at UK in 2019 for “Jared Lorenzen Day” honoring the former quarterback after his passing.

The Boyle County senior offensive lineman has been to a variety of football camps this summer and remembers going to UK camps before where he was “just kind of there to play ball and have fun.” However, Sunday’s camp at UK was more like a business trip and the 6-2, 280-pound McClure was so impressive that he earned a preferred walk-on offer after camp ended from recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow.

McClure had talked to Marrow recently when the UK coach came to Boyle and was hoping some type of offer might be coming.

Email newsletter signup

“I just went up and had a really good camp,” said McClure.

How good? Even Kentucky defensive coordinator Brad White noticed what he was doing.

“That was kind of surreal. We were doing one-on-one, which is a big thing in all camps. I had been at center. When he came over and talked to me I just had two really good reps against a kid from Trinity and he made a big deal out of that,” McClure said. “He told me, ‘I don’t do this often. It’s very rare.’”

McClure can bench press 335, squat 480 and power clean 285. However, he also has a 4.233 grade-point average and a composite ACT score of 35 (out of 36).

“Paul is going to end up with a lot of other things (offers) because of the competition we are playing this season,” Boyle coach Justin Haddix said. “He does a lot of great things. A lot of schools are interested because of all he can do.

“He might not be the biggest guy but he will fight you. I think sometimes schools get caught up in measurables but he does so many good things. The more good teams we play the better it will be for him to show college coaches what he can do.”

Even though he plays tackle for Boyle, he understands he’ll probably be a center — or maybe guard — in college, especially at a school like Kentucky.

Graduate assistant coach Drake Jackson, a former Kentucky center, told McClure Sunday that “any college team needs guys who work hard” like McClure does.

“He also told me Kentucky wants guys who want to wear the blue and white and that’s me,” McClure, who does not plan to attend any more camps this summer, said.

McClure said he’s a “student first” and that will have a “huge emphasis” on what school will be like without football when it is time to make a college choice.

“I haven’t decided on anything yet. I think this summer might bring me more opportunities,” McClure said.

Jackson told him to take his time with his decision to “find something to fall in love with” and that he’ll always have a spot at Kentucky if that is what he wants.

“I have been given the opportunity to not be rushed into a decision,” McClure said. “In the near future I need to talk to some people who have walked on at UK and see what their experiences were like.”

McClure already knows that he likes UK offensive line coach Eric Wolford, who was at UK in 2021 before going to Alabama for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Now he’s back working for coach Mark Stoops.

“I had never met him (before Sunday). We went on a little tour with him after camp and we talked a lot about college ball and life  and how to conduct yourself,” McClure said. “I am a big fan of his actually. Coach Wolford is really a good coach and can restore the Big Blue Wall to where it was when John Schlarman was coaching there.”

Haddix is confident McClure can succeed at Kentucky if he decides that would be his best college fit.

“He loves Kentucky and loves being there and having that opportunity,” Haddix said. “He’s a lifelong fan of Kentucky. That’s why I know he’s excited about this opportunity but also kind of wants to see what else might be out there.”