2026 LB Michael McClenton is carving his own legacy

Photo credit: Twitter: @michaelmcclent5

Written by: Drew Johnson (RealNews102)

When thinking of production players at the Prep Level, you usually look out for top seniors or rising juniors to stand out but 2026 linebacker Michael McClenton has set the tone as a sophomore while recording Madden Franchise-type stats in just year two. 

McClenton has stamped himself as a true DOG prospect as he currently leads the nation with 31.0 total sacks, and is third nationally in total tackles with 202 racked up in the regular season (45.0 TFL to add). 

Playing the game of football runs through the McClenton family’s blood. Being the son of a former professional football player with multiple brothers who have competed at the college level, tends to motivate a person to live up to greatness. 

“I started off playing football when I was 4,” McClenton said. “I knew I was a DOG when I first started playing flag.”

Since making the move over to Ocoee High School, the 6-0, 227-pound versatile linebacker has seemingly come out of nowhere but will be on the National radar very soon. Just check the film, this isn’t little boy football or padded stats but a production beast with incredible upside for the college level.

The dominant sophomore has flashed his ability to be a monster off the edge and a high-IQ athlete who understands the game early. When asked about his recent success, McClenton credits his trainer and God for blessing him with the skill sets and natural instincts to produce on the football field.

“I’m a high-motor kid that loves to get to the quarterback,” McClenton said. “I love to run around and make plays just flying around getting to the football. I credit my motor, hands, and God. When that ball snaps I’m just like “Go Get It.”

All of those traits have been put on film for college coaches to evaluate. As more colleges have time to view the stat production from the season, McClenton will be visiting college campuses in the meantime while others continue reaching out to the Ocoee coaching staff. 

Mcclenton will be attending Troy vs. South Alabama on Thursday to get a feel of the program’s culture. He shared his thoughts on the relationship developed with the coaching staff.

Troy: “Troy started reaching out to me during my freshman year. Me and the coaches have built a good relationship and we text every once in a while. They hit me up to come to this game and I said Let’s Go. I’m just excited to see what they have to offer.”

McClenton dominated at an FSU camp during the offseason and was excited to share his thoughts on the coaching staff and the recent upside of the program. 

FSU: I really love the FSU program. I’ve talked with the running back coach my freshman year and they really liked me. We came up there to camp and visit, I just really love the program and what they have to offer. To see the new buildings and stuff they have up there it just looks like a great program and one that I would fit in because of love Coach Adam Fuller’s defense.”

A camp warrior, McClenton was able to show off his potential upside at a UCF camp and said he likes what head coach Gus Malzahn and the Knights have to offer while being a potential hometown hero. 

UCF: “I went to two of their games at the beginning of the season. It would be a God-giving ability to commit to UCF. I talked with Coach Malzahn a few times, he’s a good guy. I like that the campus is close to home. I like the new facilities they are building. UCF is really investing in their football team and facilities right now so I like the way they are moving.”

McClenton also has a game visit to watch UF this Saturday take on Arkansas. He camped at the school during the summer and shared his thoughts on the Gators program. 

“They came to our school last year at Lake Mary and their offensive line coach invited me to come camp and I just went up there and did my thing while having good talks.”

Some of the colleges that have reached out to the Ocoee coaching staff include Tennessee, UCF, Colorado, and Arkansas.

McClenton said he would be blessed to play the game at the next level for any university but lit up when talking about Colorado head coach Deion Sanders after witnessing the culture and standard change that the NFL Hall of Famer demands. He has a visit locked in next weekend to check out the Buffs’ new motion.

Colorado: “Everything up there is just blowing up. I like the atmosphere that I’m seeing through YouTube videos and videos that they come out with. I just like the program and coaching staff Deion that I’ve seen he’s been pulling in. Their academics, I’ve been searching their academics a couple of times and I like it. 

McClenton kept it short and to the point when asked what he could bring to some of these Division I schools.

“I’m bringing a young leader that is willing to do anything and all the work I have to do to get on that field.”

To finish off the interview, the young man gave thanks to his family members, coaches, and Dad who has worked out and trained him consistently over the years.

“I want to thank first off my family, my mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, brothers, sisters, and uncles. I want to thank God first as well. I want to thank all the coaches that I’ve had throughout the years especially my dad, my biggest coach.”

Plenty of time for the 6-0, 227-pound sophomore linebacker to add weight to his frame and work on the technique. He will for sure see an uptick in Division I offers as he continues throughout his high school career. Well-spoken with the DOG mentality. A must-get for college coaches!

FULL INTERVIEW: https://streamyard.com/azm8grnw7xdf

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