May 30, 2011

Hokies check out, have ties to rising OL

Scholarships are starting to roll in for a rising offensive tackle on the East Coast. Virginia Tech checked out the prospect early last week and has a connection, but they haven't offered. The lineman broke down his status with the Hokies and much more inside.

"I just got an offer from Florida International and Marshall," Mauldin, S.C. offensive tackle Jonathan McLaughlin said. "I have two other Division I offers from Wake Forest and East Carolina. I also have offers from Hampton, Coastal Carolina and Furman."

Even more schools are taking an interest in McLaughlin.

"I have had a lot of people from Miami, Notre Dame, Kentucky, NC State, Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Duke, East Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

"Some of the schools just want me to come visit and see film, some want me to camp. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do. I've visited Wake Forest twice; I've seen them the most. I've also visited Clemson and I'm planning to visit East Carolina sometime this summer."

Virginia Tech just got into the picture last week according to McLaughlin, but a strong connection certainly helps the Hokies chances.

"Actually, both of my parents lived in Virginia for about three years and that's where all of my family is, I know a lot about the area," he said. "I was down there last summer. My parents' family is from Danville."

McLaughlin went further.

"Virginia Tech was actually at my school last Monday," he said. "I was shocked they came by. I didn't think they got my film, but now they got a chance to get it.

"I know a lot about the school. I really like it, I know a couple of players on their team, two of my cousins played for Virginia Tech, Orion Martin and Cam Martin. I watched them a lot and know of David Wilson. He's one of my cousin's friends."

McLaughlin confirmed Tech is a likely visit this summer.

"They told me they like my size and are going to look at my film," he said. "The offensive line coach wants to see me and I'm going to go to their camp, probably the one in July, I'll probably make that one."

So, how big is it that Tech is showing an interest even if it's a bit later in the process?

"I've been kind of following Virginia Tech, but they aren't really known around here," he said. "It's pretty big since I'm from the area and most of my family likes Virginia Tech, so I'd be close to them if I went there.

"I don't necessarily like anybody though."

With college offers rising and camp season starting, what is McLaughlin looking for in a school?

"Well, first of all is the education and what they have to offer. I want to go into music, I'm a big music guy and I play the drums so I want to study something in that category," he said. "Of course I'll look at the football program, the players, the coaches and somewhere I can basically call home.

"I would also like my family to be able to see me every now and then. In Virginia with my grandmother, cousins and everything, that'd be great. South Carolina is right down the road too."

In terms of a decision, the lineman has a plan.

"My plan is to get it done before my senior year or maybe the beginning of the season."

McLaughlin earned all-county this past year as a junior and reflected on his ability to date.

"Right now I think my quick feet, that's what coaches tell me they like and the fact my pass protection is pretty good, they like my pull blocks and ability to get up field."

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