Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2020 RB JuTahn McClain: "I could see myself here in the future"

February 24, 2019

JuTahn McClain was aware of Notre Dame heading into Saturday’s visit, but the 2020 running back simply didn’t know what he was going to experience before the visit.

“It was really good,” McClain stated. “I learned a lot of new things I didn’t know before I came up here.

“I wasn’t looking into Notre Dame before because I didn’t know much about them. Now, Notre Dame is most definitely up there. After meeting the coaches and seeing some of the players, I really like it a lot. I could see myself here in the future.”

The four-star prospect had heard many good things about Notre Dame and had his eyes opened after experiencing it for himself on Saturday afternoon.

“Before I came, a lot of people told me it was going to be the best visit I would go on,” explained McClain. “I really liked how they keep the culture of Notre Dame. Everything on the campus is right here and not spread out. I met a lot of coaches today and they were down to earth and really cool people.” 

McClain admitted following the visit, the advice he got about Notre Dame was accurate. 

“I would say they were right,” laughed McClain. “They had a great facility, great uniforms and I have to emphasize this – they have really nice facilities.” 

On the visit, the Fairfield (Ohio) running back was able to connect with new running back coach Lance Taylor for the first time.

“He was really cool,” said McClain. “We were in his running back room and he explained how he was new to the program and I could be new to the program if I came. The relationship would start right there and it could be something really nice.” 

Offensive coordinator Chip Long had developed a relationship with McClain as the Irish transitioned from Autry Denson to Taylor. The two were able to connect on Saturday, which was significant as it gave the Ohio native a chance to get to know Long.

“You really don’t know a person through text, so the first impression is always important,” McClain said. “He’s a cool and a laid back person. He wasn’t really uptight. He showed us around and got what we had to get done.” 

Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly also made time to speak to McClain one-on-one during the visit. 

“I went into his game office,” recalled McClain. “We talked about how I had to look for the best fit. I don’t have to bite on what coaches tell me and I have to look at the details of what they tell me.” 

The Irish needed to make a significant move on Saturday and the staff did just that as McClain will certainly be back for an official visit in the fall. Notre Dame will now duke it out with Ohio State, who has made keeping McClain in Ohio a priority. 

“They want you if you’re from the state,” said McClain of Ohio State. “They come hard. If they want you, they want you. They aren’t going to stop fighting until they get you.

“I’m going to come back to Notre Dame for an official for sure.” 

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