Georgia tackle Warren McClendon got his start in Brunswick

Sports

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WSAV) – One of the things that makes a good college football program is the ability to recruit in-state.

The 2021-’22 Georgia Bulldogs are a great example, with contributors from every corner of the Peach State.

That includes Glynn County, which forged one of the anchors of Georgia’s fearsome offensive line.

“Around here, physicality is very, very important,” said head coach Sean Pender. “You have to be a physical player.”

Anyone who watched even a second of the Brunswick Pirates’ unbeaten region championship season knows that they practice what their coaches preach.

“Brunswick has been able to produce all of these offensive linemen and a lot of that has to do with the way they’ve handled themselves,” Pender said.

One of the best offensive linemen they’ve ever produced is now in the national spotlight: Georgia right tackle Warren McClendon.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him get beat,” Pender said. “Every game he’s getting after it whether he’s playing against Michigan, Alabama. That kid knows how to play right tackle better than any kid I’ve ever coached.”

Pender and offensive line coach Garrett Grady both trained McClendon; not that he even needed very much of it.

“When Warren would talk to coaches or we’d go to camps, they would kind of flock to Warren, these guys on our offensive line, and see how he would handle certain situations,” Grady said.

That combination of talent and maturity led McClendon to a four-star prospect rating by Rivals and an eventual commitment to Georgia, where he has played more than 85 percent of the offensive snaps on one of the country’s top O-lines in 2021.

“They understand the goal. They understand what practice means. They understand what showing up on time and doing things the right way means,” said left tackle Jamaree Salyer about his teammates on the Dawgs O-line.

Even three years removed from Brunswick, McClendon’s influence helped get some of the current Pirates kids college opportunities

“Warren was getting all this national attention and because all these coaches were coming in, they were able to see other players,” Pender said.

If those coaches are lucky, they might find the next Warren McClendon right where they found the original: on the fields of Brunswick High School.

McClendon is not the only Glynn County product on the Dawgs: kicker Jack Podlesny went to Glynn Academy and walked onto the Bulldogs in 2018 before earning the starting job in 2020.

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