BVA’s McClintock a hit at Michigan |

BVA’s McClintock a hit at Michigan

In the roster section of the University of Michigan football team’s media guide, Scott McClintock lists Dick Butkus as his favorite former professional athlete.

Only a redshirt junior inside linebacker, the former Belle Vernon Area High School All-State two-way star may someday continue his football career by playing on Sunday afternoons, as his high school coach Gary Dongilli predicted. For now, McClintock, son of Scott and Cindy McClintock of Belle Vernon, is making a significant impact with arguably big-time college football’s most successful program.

Ranked 11th nationally in most polls, the Wolverines are 3-1 with dominating victories over Central Michigan (45-7), Houston (50-3) and Notre Dame (38-0). Last week, the Wolverines could not overcome a 24-6 deficit and lost 31-27 at Oregon.

Heading into yesterday’s Big Ten conference opener with Indiana, the Wolverines owned a cumulative record of 826-270-36 (.747). Following Michigan in career wins are Notre Dame (793), Nebraska (775), Texas (768) and Alabama (756).

McClintock started in the win over Houston and made four tackles after coming off the bench to make six tackles against Central Michigan. Against Notre Dame he recorded his 50th-career tackle and last Saturday at Oregon he made three tackles and had two pass breakups. Through four games, McClintock is Michigan’s fourth-leading tackler with 14 total stops.

In 2002, he earned his first collegiate varsity letter, appearing in all 13 games, including starts in the Wolverines’ final two games. He tied a career-high with eight tackles with one tackle-for-loss in the regular season finale 14-9 loss at eventual national champion Ohio State and added four more tackles and another tackle-for-loss in Michigan’s 38-30 victory over Florida in the Outback Bowl.

McClintock also produced eight tackles in a 21-14 victory over Wisconsin and finished 2002 with 39 overall tackles. Michigan went 10-2 overall a year ago, giving the program its 23rd season of 10 or more victories.

Winning is hardly anything new for McClintock, who is a 2001 graduate of Belle Vernon. A three-year starter, he helped the Leopards win three straight Keystone Conference titles (1998-2000) with a WPIAL Class AAA championship game appearance as a junior and a semifinal showing as a senior.

Punishing on defense and at times unstoppable in the offensive backfield, McClintock registered 440 tackles, including 40 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, six forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and four interceptions that were all returned for touchdowns. As a fullback he ran for 1,700 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. He also caught five balls for 100 yards and completed two of four passes for 70 yards.

Among the numerous honors McClintock received was being selected to the Pennsylvania All-State first team as a linebacker. He was also a Tribune-Review Terrific 25 selection both his junior and senior seasons. The versatile McClintock was also a three-year starter on the Leopards baseball team who batted .440 with 31 RBI, five home runs, three triples, five doubles and 10 stolen bases during his junior year.

McClintock and Michigan continue the 2003 football season next Saturday at Iowa.

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