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COMMITTED: McLean lands at top choice Shaw University

Senior Jeremiah McLean verbally committed to play soccer at Shaw University last week. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Jeremiah McLean had something a little extra to feel grateful for this holiday season.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, McLean verbally committed to play soccer at Shaw University. 

Spending the past two seasons as a starting defender for the Raiders, McLean committed one day after receiving his official offer.

Becoming the fifth Richmond Senior High School student-athlete to commit this school year, McLean became the second Raider soccer player in as many seasons to do so. 

Former player Cody Eason is a member of the Coker University team. Jayla McDougald (2021) and Joerail White (2020) play soccer and football at Shaw.

Also verbally committing this school year have been softball players Makayla Parks (Pfeiffer) and Macy Steen (Coker), football player Jeffery Linton (Tusculum) and baseball player Camron Seagraves (Campbell). 

“It feels pretty good being committed,” McLean said. “It’s not something I expected to happen so fast, but I’m glad that it did. Getting a chance to play soccer at the college level will be exciting.

“Shaw is the school that I wanted to go to most, and now I get the added bonus of playing soccer for them,” he added. “I like that it’s a small school and felt like they wanted me to be there. All of the coaches have been so welcoming.”

Recruited as an outside back, McLean also received interest from Coker and Warren Wilson College. He went on a college tour at Shaw over the summer and began talking with the Bears’ coaching staff during his senior season.

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Persistence in the recruiting game is what McLean said helped lead him to this opportunity.

“In order to get recruited, I sent film in and was really consistent in talking with coaches,” McLean explained. “I approached my senior year with the mindset of helping the team win as many games as possible.

“Playing college soccer has always been a dream of mine and everything fell together after the season ended.”

This past fall, McLean played in 18 games for Richmond before a lower body injury kept him out during the final stretch. 

Playing mostly left back, and sometimes center back, McLean was part of a back line that kept opponents to 3.04 goals per game.

The Bears, which are an independent Division-II program, went 5-7-3 in 2022. McLean will join a growing program that was established in 2017 and is coached by Randy McClure.

“I’m really looking forward to playing that first game in college,” McLean said. “It’ll be a big milestone for me. And I want to continue learning and growing to see what else I can accomplish.

“Playing at Richmond definitely got me ready for the college level,” he concluded. “We played a lot of quality teams outside of our area, so I was able to get better by playing good competition. Being coached by (Chris) Larsen and Bennie (Howard) also really helped me.”

Set to graduate from Richmond Early College with an associate’s degree in June, McLean plans to major in computer science at Shaw.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.