It was a great recruiting weekend to kickoff the summer circuit for the Kentucky Wildcats and after scooping up power back Torrance Davis on Friday night, UK collected a running mate for him on Saturday. For the second time in three recruiting hauls, UK has take two running backs in one class.
JuTahn McClain is a composite four-star back out of Fairfield, Ohio which is just north of Cincinnati. In his junior season, McClain put up over 1,600 yards rushing and scored 31 touchdowns. He is a track star and will be bringing some highlight speed and quickness to Lexington. The Cats have found a thunder and lightning combination to add to their running back room.
Just like we did with Torrance Davis, we’re taking you inside the film room to show you just what JuTahn McClain is bringing to the UK running back room. The scat back is a player that could be used in a lot of ways and will have a great chance to play in his true freshman season.
Similar to class of 2019 member Travis Tisdale, JuTahn McClain is a one-cut runner who just needs a crease to create a big play. However, on his tape he shows some very quality patience when asked to run in between the tackles. On this long touchdown run, McClain lets his blockers do their jobs to create the lane for the big play. McClain needed to use hesitation to allow the backside tight end to pull around to clean up the linebacker. While that’s happening, it allows the playside wide receiver time to get up on the corner to allow an alley for the sideline. Eddie Gran talks about patience all the time with running backs and McClain shows he has that skill.
Similar to fellow commit Torrance Davis, McClain has the ability to spread out and be a factor in the passing game. Fairfield uses him a ton on your typical running back slip screens and in the slot on bubbles. But at times they allow to run actual routes and here you see his ability as a pass catcher. On the out and up route, McClain shows he can create separation and makes an impressive reception away from his body. On tape, he consistently catches the ball with his hands and should be able to factor in as a pass catcher.
The biggest reason that McClain could make an impact right away during his true freshman season will be because what he brings in the return game. The all-purpose back is excellent on kick returns and in his Hudl tape you see numerous returns where he creates a big play for his team. If Kentucky loses Lynn Bowden Jr. following the 2020 season, McClain should step in and be the team’s starting kick returner in 2021.
JuTahn McClain becomes Kentucky’s seventh member of the 2020 class and each is rated as a high three-star or above. That’s making a good living on the recruiting trail and it’s pretty easy to see McClain’s fit in the offense. Kentucky is in need of a change of pace back who can contribute in the passing game. That is what McClain brings to the table. Slowly the Wildcats have a really impressive group of backs set to be in Lexington next year. That’s what you expect after producing the 12th all-time leading rusher in SEC history.