Impact Players

Alabama RB Jase McClellan will be ‘more explosive’ than Najee Harris, according to Brad Lester

Jase McClellan (No. 21) runs with the ball in Alabama's spring scrimmage
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics

Alabama fans are now ready to see Jase McClellan as a sophomore in the fall.

Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, the native Texan made some nice plays last season.

He showed explosiveness in the hole and breakaway speed in open space. McClellan finished 2020 with 245 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 23 carries through 13 games.

He got the attention of Crimson Tide versus Kentucky, as McClellan led the team for rushing yards (99) and scored a touchdown on 10 carries at Bryant-Denny Stadium. His explosive run came two weeks later against Arkansas.

RELATED: Who gives Alabama the toughest challenge in college football this season?

McClellan recorded the longest rushing score of the season: an 80-yard burst to pay dirt.

He arrived in the Tide’s 2020 signing class as a four-star, and his A-Day performance was strong.

McClellan operated the second-team offense (Crimson) with Paul Tyson and totaled 108 yards.

He had 46 yards rushing, but his outing as a receiver stood out. McClellan led his group with seven receptions for 62 yards on nine targets.

He averaged 8.9 yards per catch, including a long grab of 21 yards. Alabama’s running back room is crowded, but Brad Lester believes McClellan is the best in the room. Lester, an alumnus of Auburn University, is an elite performance trainer in Atlanta, Ga. He worked with Najee Harris in the 2020 offseason, and it allowed Harris to explode for massive production.

He collected 1,466 yards rushing, 425 yards receiving, and 30 total scores to help capture a national title.

Harris won the Doak Walker Award and was named First-Team Unanimous All-American.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder became a Heisman Trophy finalist and was selected at No. 24 overall in the first round of the NFL Draft. He pushed Harris to his full potential; however, Lester sees something special in McClellan. He said the sophomore is ‘way more explosive than Harris.’

YouTube video

*Brad Lester talks about Jase McClellan at the 38:22 mark

“The first thing I saw about him was his explosiveness,” Lester said of McClellan via Monday’s In My Own Words. “His size stood out too. He’s about 210-215 pounds, which is a lot bigger than what I thought he was. I see him having a great year like Najee did. He’s putting in the work.”

Lester is impressed with McClellan’s first step upon him getting the ball.

RELATED: ‘Get your COVID-19 vaccine’ says Alabama head coach Nick Saban

“He is going to make a huge impact for Alabama at running back,” Lester said. “He’s very powerful in the weight room too.”

McClellan has to improve on his pass-blocking skills, but there is a lot to like about him.

He has stiff competition, including Roydell Williams, but Lester feels that McClellan can do it.

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber-only content!*

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Facebook Comments

To Top