Shea McClellin has some solid stories to share.
The former Boise State star defensive end/outside linebacker met with fans young and old Saturday at The Village at Meridian, signing autographs for up to two hours. He was there on behalf of River Discovery, an organization dedicated to giving cancer survivors opportunities to have adventures in the outdoors.
McClellin won the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in February, a memorable 34-28 overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots trailed 28-3 in the third quarter and, admittedly, things looked bleak.
“Maybe it was late in the second quarter, third quarter, and I was sitting there on the bench thinking, ‘Man, this is really going to suck if we go all this way and lose,’ ” McClellin said. “Eventually, we just kept chipping and chipping, and it worked out.”
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McClellin, a Marsing native, played at Boise State from 2008-11 and ended his career with 20.5 sacks, sixth in school history. The Chicago Bears selected him in the first round, 19th overall, in the 2012 NFL Draft. McClellin signed a three-year contract with the Patriots last offseason following his four-year stint with the Bears.
The Super Bowl win served as the pinnacle of his five-year NFL career. McClellin now stands at a point where he can reflect on what has been a topsy-turvy career with nothing but smiles, name dropping with the best of them.
His favorite quarterback to sack? None other than the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers.
The weirdest thing he said he’s autographed? A jock strap.
And with a massive Super Bowl ring proudly displayed on his finger, McClellin now has his best story of all.
“My first four years in the league were rough. We weren’t very good. Me, personally, I was inconsistent,” McClellin said. “To put it all together and help out the Patriots in any way I could ... it vindicated everything for my career.”
The former Bronco defender went viral during the 2016 NFL season after leaping over the Ravens’ longsnapper en route to a blocked kick. He also attempted the move in the Super Bowl.
The NFL changed its rules on leaping during field goals this year, banning jumps over linemen entirely.
McClellin later responded to the NFL’s rule change with a humorous tweet that was a picture of Michael Scott from the TV show “The Office.”
“I didn’t expect it to be outlawed,” McClellin said with a laugh. “They said the main reason they outlawed it is that people could get injured, but no one’s ever gotten hurt doing it. So it doesn’t make sense to me.”
McClellin makes his offseason home in California but said he comes to Idaho a few weeks a year. The opportunity to give back to the local community is something he says he will never pass up.
“I love this community,” McClellin said. “(There’s) so much support from when I played at Boise State, all those fans. So much support from Marsing ... I just want to give back in any way I can. And this is something I figured I could help out with.”