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2022 NFL Prospect Interview: McClendon Curtis, OG, Tennessee-Chattanooga

McClendon Curtis is a monster on UT-Chattanooga offensive line with great length, having 35 inch arms. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: McClendon Curtis
  • Height: 6’7”
  • Weight: 330 lbs.
  • Position: OL
  • College: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • Twitter: McClendoncurti1
  • Instagram: Mcclendon_curtis

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I graduated with a Sports Management degree this past Spring and will be pursuing a Masters in School Leadership this fall. One of the activities that I have enjoyed has been helping incoming freshmen adapt to college, really just mentoring them and helping them balance their responsibilities. I’ve also done fundraising with the school and have also interned as an academic advisor.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
The first observation that I get from most people is my length and how I’m able to move at my size. I’m very smart on the field. I try to know everything that’s going on and adapt on the fly. I’m also a good teammate, and I get along with everybody.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
As I have developed over the years, I’ve grown into a leadership role whether that be on the field or in the weight room. I’ve been a starter at right guard since 2019. I have taken a few snaps at left guard as well, and could also be moved to right tackle in the pros.

As far as scheme, we run a lot of wide and inside zone plays. Since I’ve been here, we’ve gone from having a very productive passing game to really dominating in the run game.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
I have played against some SEC talent when we were up against Tennessee. Yet, the player that sticks out the most is Adrian Hope who plays for Furman. He may be small, but he’s twitchy off the edge and has the ability to make plays all over the field.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Isaiah Mack was the first player that tested me a few years ago. We had our back and forth struggles, and he really helped me adjust to the game. Now, we have Devonnsha Maxwell who’s an All-American that I’m able to practice with. I’m thankful that he’s on our team. I also have to give a shout out to some of the guys on the offensive line. Harrison Moon is an anchor as a tackle, and Kelly Miskelley has been a great center for us. Also my guy Colin Truett who’s been a great right tackle for us.  Cole Strange has been one of my best friends. Not only is he one of the best guards in the FCS, he’s also my lifting buddy. We push each other to be the best every day.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
My freshman year was tough because as I was being recruited, the coaching staff left here at UTC. I had been told that I was going to start, but the new staff wasn’t as committed to me. I had mostly played as a defensive lineman in high school and had only played offensive line my senior year. So, there was discussion as to where to put me on the field.

After redshirting my first year, I was playing well during the Spring and had won the spot as the starter. Yet, they brought in a transfer from Georgia that they pretty much gave the job to. It was like there wasn’t really a competition for it even though I had previously earned it. I was a bit upset and felt that maybe I had failed my parents. Yet, I put my head down and went to work, doing the best that I could and being prepared for when I have my opportunity.

I eventually got my opportunity to start in 2019 and haven’t really looked back. This past Spring season, my efforts were finally acknowledged as I was named First Team All-SoCon.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I would probably play basketball. I played all 4 years of high school and actually had a few offers from schools that wanted me as a dual athlete.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud of graduating college. Over the past 3 years, I have kept a 4.0 GPA, being named to the Dean’s List and Academic All-SoCon.

My biggest achievement as a football player has been being named First Team All-SoCon. I’m very honored to have my picture with accolades next to my name on our scoreboard. Besides that, doing whatever my team needs me to do to put ourselves in the best position to win.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
Over the past few years, we’ve had 2 games against the Citadel that have gone into overtime that we came out with a win. The first happened in 2018 and the other this past Spring season. Being down by the goal line, our offensive line had picked the play that we were going to run. We ran it so much in practice that we knew it was going to work. I made a very aggressive down block, and as our tight-end was pulling, he caught a shuffle pass for the touchdown. After that, I just remember all the boys running around on the field like crazy. We were very excited for the win.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
Some of the player highlights that I like to watch before games include guys like Quinton Nelson, Terron Armstead and Trent Williams.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Two of my favorite artists include EST Gee and Lil Baby. Before games, I like to listen to EST Gee’s “Ball Forever” and Lil Baby’s “Humble”.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Some of my favorite comfort foods include steak, mac & cheese, asparagus and sweet potatoes. Two of the local restaurants that I love are the C & W Cafe and Haven’s Diner in Chattanooga, TN.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
One of the TV shows that I really used to enjoy was Ballers. Two of my favorite actors are Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart. Monster’s Inc is one of my favorite movies. I work at the YMCA during the summer, and the kids like to call me “Sully”.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I love to spend time with my family. I enjoy cooking, traveling and meeting new people. I guess you can say that my secret talent is that I can do a cartwheel and a front roll.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
My family motivates me, especially my mom. When I was young, we had to stay in a women’s shelter and didn’t really have a lot. We ended up moving from place to place until we got settled. There were a lot of people that helped us along the way. One of these days, I would love to give back and impact others. I want to be able to be a helping hand and do a lot for the kids in the community, maybe have a camp where they can go after school or during the summer.

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