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Warren McClendon Jr. signed in the class of 2019. He continued the family legacy of playing in Athens.

Homegrown: Family roots now run 44 years deep for Warren McClendon Jr. with UGA

EDITOR’S NOTE: This original Warren McClendon Jr. profile story continues a special series in partnership with Georgia Farm Bureau profiling homegrown talent from the state of Georgia.  To access other HomeGrown Talent articles please visit the series hub on DawgNation.com. 

Warren McClendon Jr. was involved in a different recruiting tug-of-war between Southeastern Conference schools about 14 months ago.

The Brunswick High graduate signed with Georgia in December of 2019. He made his commitment in July of 2018.

He characterized that as a clear family decision. But this is just going to be different than a lot of the typical recaps when it comes to that.

He joined the Georgia class as a 4-star offensive tackle. The 247Sports Composite ratings pegged him as the nation’s No. 20 OT and No. 227 overall prospect for 2019.

DawgNation can trace his recruiting story back to seeing him as a freshman in 2015. The assignment then was to go check on future Army All-American OT and Georgia signee D’Antne Demery.

Demery was very good, but the ceiling for McClendon seemed even higher. Especially to be so young at that time.

It is a story that requires a few numbers to frame up correctly. Those would be:

  • 43 years between signing days (1975)
  • 14 years since another McClendon played at UGA (2005)
  • A 90 percent Georgia Bulldog family

The McClendon name has a clear legacy at Georgia. His uncle, Willie, signed with the Bulldogs in 1975. He was quite the running back “Between the Hedges” in Athens.

McClendon set the single-season rushing record for Georgia in 1978 with 1,312 yards. It broke the record set by 1942 Heisman Trophy winner Frank Sinkwich.

That record was then smashed in back-to-back-to-back seasons by a fella with the last name Walker. Willie McClendon went on to a professional career that lasted four seasons. He backed up Walter Payton with the Bears and even went on to be an assistant at Georgia for a time under former coach Ray Goff.

His nephew Warren McClendon committed and signed with Georgia 43 years later. The McClendon roots have grown significantly over those years when it comes to the Bulldogs.

Warren McClendon Jr. even estimates that 90 percent of his family are still die-hard Bulldog fans.

Tyrone McClendon, another uncle, signed to play with UGA in the 1980s, too.

If that was the beginning and the ending of the timeline, it would seem a lot less complicated.

This is not one of those recruiting stories, though.

Warren McClendon Jr. stood out for his reps at the Nike Opening finals in the summer prior to his senior year. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

The family decision for Warren McClendon Jr. 

This recap will carry some drama by taking into account the other 10 percent of his family.

It was very hard for the 6-foot-5, 310-pounder to tell the offensive coordinator of the South Carolina Gamecocks last July that those 43 years run pretty deep among the McClendons.

That was his cousin. Bryan McClendon was a receiver, an assistant coach and then the school’s interim coach in the gap between the Mark Richt and Kirby Smart eras.

McClendon was already on the radar as one of the top young prospects in the state back in the fall of 2015. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
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