Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Jase McClellan: A look at Alabama’s top running back

Riley Thompson
Alabama running back Jase McClellan (#2) celebrates a touchdown against Ole Miss on Sept. 23 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama football defeated Mississippi State 40-17 last Saturday in Starkville. Senior running back Jase McClellan stood out, rushing for 68 yards and a touchdown in the victory. McClellan finished second in the team in rushing, behind only quarterback Jalen Milroe.  

“Jase is a dog. He balled today,” Milroe said after the game. “And when we have a great running back like that, it takes a lot off of the passing game. So he does a great job for us. He did great today.”   

McClellan had to overcome injuries and setbacks in his college career to get to where he is today. His journey to Alabama’s top dog at running back position is a complicated and long one. 

The Texas native attended Aledo High School, where he played for the football team. In his freshman year he rushed for 1,528 yards and 20 touchdowns and would go on to rush 1,000 yards every year for the rest of his high school career. 

He closed out his career rushing for 218 yards and two touchdowns, leading Aledo to the Texas Class 5A Division II state championship. He originally committed to Oklahoma in July 2017 to play under then-head coach Lincoln Riley, but he later flipped to Alabama in December 2019 during early signing day.  

“Every year they put running backs in the league and get freshmen playing time,” McClellan said when he committed to Alabama. “You’re playing with the best there, getting you developed.”  

According to 247Sports, McClellan was the 47th-ranked player, the sixth-best running back and the sixth-best player in Texas in the class of 2020. Head coach Nick Saban said great things about the recruit when he first came to Alabama. 

 “Jase is really smooth, really explosive, really good hands,” Saban said. “Just an all-around very, very talented player. Some of these guys, they’re great with the ball in their hands, but they don’t do other things. He does it all, and he’s a really great receiver, so we were excited about him. We think he has great character as well.” 

In his freshman year, McClellan rushed for 245 yards and two touchdowns while watching his team win the national championship. His sophomore year saw him back up Brian Robinson Jr., but that season was cut short when he suffered a torn ACL against Ole Miss.  

Prior to the injury, he had 40 carries for 191 yards and a touchdown. He returned for the 2022 season, becoming the backup to Jahmyr Gibbs. McClellan finally had a breakout year, rushing for nearly 700 yards and seven touchdowns, while also catching for 174 yards and three receiving touchdowns. He had finally found his footing in the Alabama offense.  

Heading into the 2023 season, he solidified himself as the lead running back. After five games, he leads the Crimson Tide in rushing with 326 yards and three touchdowns.  

He’s just getting started this season.  

McClellan will be back in action on Saturday when the Crimson Tide travels to College Station, Texas, to take on the Texas A&M Aggies at 2:30 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on CBS. 

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