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Blast From the Bronco Past: Shea McClellin

The former first round pick looks back on his playing days

New Mexico at Boise State Joe Jaszewski/Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

“Blast From the Bronco Past” is back, and it is back in a big time way! In this edition, I was lucky enough to be joined by Bronco legend Shea McClellin. McClellin had a great career for the Broncos, registering 20.5 sacks and four interceptions. He went on to be a first round pick in the 2012 draft where he spent four years with the Chicago Bears before finishing his career with the New England Patriots where he won a Super Bowl. Shea was nice enough to answer a few questions about his playing days and what he is up to now.

Shea, Bronco Nation would love to know how your post playing days are treating you? What are you up to these days?

Nowadays, I’m living in Southern California. I was coaching linebackers at Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach (went 16-0 and won state last year) but I’ve put that on hold to pursue a professional pickleball career. Almost everyone I tell that to laughs at first until they realize I’m 100 percent serious. Really just focused on my faith, family and pickleball.

You grew up in rural Idaho watching Boise State football. What was the recruiting process like for you, and how did you end up at Boise State?

It was a pretty easy choice for me honestly. I had a few other offers out of high school from some smaller schools and some interest from Oregon, but they all wanted me to play TE, which I didn’t want to do. I wanted to play defense. That and Boise State was was my team growing up, so naturally it was the right choice.

You kind of set the precedent for edge rushers at Boise State. That position has been a strength on that side of the ball since you have left. Why do you think that is?

I think the coaches have done a great job of recruiting that position. It’s not your normal DE or LB position. It’s kind of a mix between the two, and I think the coaches have been able to find some really great athletes to fit in that spot. I’m biased, but I think the best athletes on the team play the STUD position.

What was your most memorable moment as a Bronco? Why?

The 2010 Fiesta Bowl is definitely up there, but I’m going to have to go with the 2011 Georgia game at the Georgia Dome. Just the atmosphere during that game was incredible, and for us to go into their territory and beat up on an SEC team was a great feeling.

I probably know the answer to this question, but what was your most painful moment?

The loss at Nevada was the one that stung the most for sure.

Do you still follow the team? If so, what are some things that fans should keep an eye on this coming season?

I do. I think you definitely have to keep an eye out on George Holani; the guy is a beast. He’s going to be a lot of fun to watch. Who emerges as the starting quarterback should also be interesting. Then on defense, who’s gonna be the next guy to step up and lead the D??? Time will tell.

Boise State fans were shocked to hear Coach Pete announce that he is stepping away from coaching, what was your reaction and how do you see things playing out for him moving forward?

I was shocked. I never expected him to step away from the game randomly like he did. I think he just needs a break for a while. But, I do think he’ll be back at some point. I don’t thinks he’s done quite yet. Maybe he steps into a more administrative role? We’ll see.

What was the NFL Draft process like? What was it like going through the Combine?

It was extremely long. So much training for the combine and the all star game, and by the time the draft comes, I really just wanted to know where i was gonna end up. It’s definitely a process. I’m happy I never have to go through that again in my life. The combine reminded me of a livestock auction. Just a bunch of people examining you and asking you the same questions over and over and looking at your body to make sure you’re healthy. It was a real tedious process for sure.

What was it like waiting to hear your name called? What was it like being on that stage?

To be honest, I was just happy the whole draft process was over and I finally knew where I was gonna be when my name got called. I can’t tell you I was happy or excited; I think I was just relieved the whole process was finally over. Being on stage was kind of a blur, and all I could really think about is “Okay, what happens next?”

Do you miss playing the game at all? Was it hard to walk away from something you devoted your life to?

I do not missing playing at all. I had a great time, and unfortunately, my time came to an end a bit early because of injuries. But football never defined me, and I was never gonna let it have control over my life. I knew at some point it was all going to be over and I would have to move on. I was at peace that it could happen at any time. I also knew after I was done playing I would have to move on in life, because there is so much more life to live and so many people counting on me to be a great father, husband, friend, uncle, etc...and so I’m happy it’s over and I can move on with the next phase of my life.

Any parting words for Bronco Nation?

Thank You! Over and over and over again. I’ve played in many different venues, and Boise is one of the loudest places and of course, my all time favorite. Not only are the fans rocking the stadium, but they also have the sportsmanship many other fan bases do not. When you can be super loud and cheer on your Broncos and at the same time be kind to the opposing fans, that’s what it’s all about. The fans do make a difference at games, and the players need that extra energy to feed off of. So, for all those years of support I say thank you!!! And please continue to rock the Blue for years to come.

That’s it for this edition of “Blast From the Bronco Past.” Be sure to stay tuned for next week’s edition.