When Auburn fans hear Marquis McClain's name, the first image that pops into their heads is the miraculous catch at A-Day last year. After the performance he had at last year's spring game, it looked as though McClain would become a consistent fixture in the receiving corps.
However, McClain didn't record a single catch last season — but that's something he's looking to change this season. McClain has been catching coaches and teammates' attention this spring.
"It's supposed to be a big spring for me, just taking the next step and getting better," McClain said. "I sat down with my parents and said, ‘I think this is going to be the spring where I buckle down, no distractions, and just focus on getting better as a receiver.'"
McClain admitted he considered transferring last season. But now, back in a crowded receivers room, McClain knows he has to up his game to compete.
"As far as high pointing the ball and catching in traffic, that was one of the most important things," McClain said. "Just pushing through when I’m tired. Last year I was mentally weak... I have been more mentally stable as far as pushing through when I’m tired and going up knowing I’m a big receiver and making a play."
In addition to his parents, McClain said he sat down with Gus Malzahn and receivers coach Kodi Burns in the offseason to express that he is determined to improve his game and increase his role in 2019.
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"A lot of people would have made a decision on their own, but I knew that wasn’t the smart thing," McClain said. "I’m still young and I could have gone off emotion but I didn’t. I stayed down, put my head down and kept working throughout this whole process."
McClain looks to become another big-play receiver for Auburn as it will need another big-bodied receiver to step up and play the 9 spot.
"The go-to receiver," McClain said of what he wants his role to be next season. "I want to be the guy with the game on the line. I want the ball."
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