For Bryan McClendon, it wasn’t a difficult decision to come back to Georgia. Despite being hired by Miami last offseason, McClendon had an opportunity to return to a place that meantso much to him in Georgia.

Safe to say McClendon’s second stint for the Bulldogs has been beneficial for both sides. Georgia won its second straight national championship, while McClendon got his first as a coach. The wide receivers in particular came up big in the 42-41 win over Ohio State, a credit to McClendon’s coaching and the growth in the room.

“I thought B-Mac did a good job selling to our team,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after the win over Ohio State. “We had several coaches stand up and speak on Friday, and he talked about the personal respect level that he has for the attention their receivers are getting, and they certainly deserve that. They’re really good, really talented.”

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That McClendon got to win at his alma mater made the 2022 season all the sweeter.

“Georgia is home,” McClendon said prior to Georgia’s Peach Bowl win. “You just feel honored to be a part of everything you have going on. To sit up here and say that you don’t have certain feelings to your alma mater... Just to see the job coach Smart and the previous staff job have done, and being able to take it to a whole new level, you’re excited to see that. You feel honored just like always to come back and wear the red and black and wear the G.”

McClendon further put his stamp on the position this offseason. He landed three commitments in the 2023 recruiting cycle in Tyler Williams, Yazeed Haynes and Anthony Evans. All three players have already enrolled and are taking part in offseason workouts. Williams is the No. 91 overall player in the class. The last time Georgia landed a player that highly rated in the wide receiver room came back in the 2020 recruiting class.

Georgia also beefed up via the transfer portal as the Bulldogs brought in Dominic Lovett and Rara Thomas. The Bulldogs did see AD Mitchell and Dominick Blaylock depart the program via the transfer portal but Georgia is in a better spot from a numbers standpoint compared to where it was prior to McClendon’s return to Georgia.

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McClendon first coached at Georgia from 2007 through 2015, working his way up from a graduate assistant to serving as the interim head coach for Georgia’s final game of the 2015 season.

Georgia came away with a 24-17 win over Penn State in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl, giving McClendon a win as an interim coach.

That was also the last game prior to Smart taking over the program.

“It’s just grown but that’s just the way of college football,” McClendon said of how Georgia has changed under Smart. “College football just in general has changed so dramatically over the years. Coach Smart has done a phenomenal job of changing and being able to do everything to make sure everyone is at an elite level.”

McClendon is one of five alums working as an on-field coach for the Bulldogs. While some coaches have looked elsewhere, such as Florida’s Keary Colbert taking a job with the Denver Broncos on Thursday, McClendon is very happy to be coaching, and thriving, at a place that means so much to him.

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