When it comes to the 2020 class, there are few offensive lineman in the country who are as coveted as Tampa (FL) Jesuit 4-star offensive tackle Connor McLaughlin, who holds 28 offers, with several more on the way, and has expressed interest in visiting East Lansing this summer.
McLaughlin recently spoke with Spartan Nation to discuss his rise as one of the country’s best offensive lineman and his recruiting process, and the 6-foot-7, 260 pound standout said that he feels very fortunate to be in the position he is in as he prepares for his senior year of football at the high school level.
“I feel like some day I’ll wake up and wait for something horrible to happen, which I know I shouldn’t be saying that,” McLaughlin joked. “Everything that’s happened to me is just so awesome and it’s so great what’s happening. I feel like God, or someone is making this happen for me, it’s just kind of weird how everything’s fallen into place for me. Obviously I have really good coaches, but everything’s falling into place for me with friends and people looking out for me, it’s almost weird for me to think about with how lucky I am.”
McLaughlin recently picked up an offer from Michigan State back in May and also holds offers from Stanford, Duke, Iowa, Miami (FL), USC, Boston College, Florida State, Indiana, Louisville, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Washington State, Harvard, Yale and Princeton and several others.
When watching McLaughlin on film, it’s easy to see what an imposing presence he is, standing at 6-foot-7, but what also stands out is his advanced technique, especially for his age, which should allow McLaughlin to contribute early on in his college career.
McLaughlin credits his coaching, particularly his offensive line coaches, Jason Odom and Tony Mayberry, two former NFL offensive lineman, for helping him develop his technique and his rise as a top offensive line recruit.
“I’ve been very fortunate with the coaches I’ve had,” he said. “I’ve got Jason Odom, who was a left tackle for the (Tampa Bay) Bucs, he actually played both tackles, which shows how easily he can play the game, he’s just a great coach, great person, great guy, he understands technique and for a guy as big as he is, you’d think that technique is not important, but he’s a technician, he’s a man, it’s perfect. Then for interior offensive line, we’ve got Tony Mayberry, who was also a center for the Bucs, so coach Odom and coach Mayberry played at the same time, so between the two there’s so much knowledge going around. There’s so many little things they do for us and I would not be in the position I am today without either of them, they’ve just been so helpful to me.”
When it comes to Michigan State and his offer from the Spartans, McLaughlin acknowledged that Michigan State had a disappointing 2018 season, but said that he expects the Spartans to turn things around in the not-so-distant future and hopes to schedule a visit to East Lansing before he makes his college decision.
“They had a rough year this year, I’m not trying to be rude,” he said. “But it’s a historic program, Michigan State is Michigan State and the Spartans are going to be good sometime soon, hopefully it’s next year. But I do know that coaching staff has the ability to get top recruits and flip it around like that and have the ability to have a good run in the Big Ten. So it’s a huge offer for me and I want to get up to Michigan State sometime because it seems like a cool place. I want to do some more research on the academics, but it’s a good place and I think it gets a bad rap for the season they had last season, but I think it’s going to flip right back around.”
With his senior season quickly approaching, McLaughlin indicated to Spartan Nation that he’d like to make his college decision before the start his season, but won’t hesitate to wait and make sure he finds the best fit for himself.
“I’d definitely prefer to do it before my season, I don’t know what that entails, maybe it’s tomorrow, maybe it’s the very end of July or early August,” he said. “But if that doesn’t work out, I’d hold out just to make sure I’m in the right position with the right school. But if I go to a school and I love it, I’d probably commit on the spot just because there’s no sense in waiting any longer and I don’t want to waste anyone else’s time or any coach’s time because they spend a lot of time recruiting and they have families they want to get back to.”
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