Shea McClellin was raised just down the road from Boise in Marsing, Idaho, a farm boy. It’s an environment where you don’t call in sick, because you don’t feel like working today. If you don’t work nothing gets done because there is no one else to do it.
Farming is a tough racket. You plant, hope, pray, and wait for rain. In Idaho you plant and go get the rain; nothing comes to you. I imagine Shea spent some time moving irrigation pipe. He bucked hay and straw. There was probably a time or two a ornery calf had to be man-handled. That kind of work builds muscle and character.
They say muscle is muscle, but what you get from hard work is reflected in what you accomplished as a person and not standing in front of a mirror doing reps.
McClellin was a gifted athlete at Marsing High School. He excelled at football, basketball, and baseball, but it was football that got him to Boise State.
Boise State was the only college to recruit him although Idaho and Idaho State showed interest. I suppose when that happens it’s a real motivator – if you’re a person that can be motivated. Like I said before, being from a farm, motivation is a word for corporate types. They have a couple of motivational speakers a year to keep the corporation in the black. No, out on the farm motivation is you don’t eat and the farm goes back to the bank. After awhile everything becomes routine, a way of life.
After watching him at Boise State for four years it is clear he doesn’t know the word ‘quit.’ He wore opposing lineman down. They were huffing and puffing while he was smiling.
He is likely as good of a success story as Kellen Moore, perhaps even more so. That story’s for another day, but here’s the boiled down version; Dad splits, Mom gives Shea to Grandma and Grandpa to raise, they raise a good kid, plays high school sports, goes to Boise, Bears draft him first round.
Chicago is a good fan city, especially for defensive players. They seem to appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes. Flash only last for a moment. They like the long haul. They like you, they keep you for life. His work ethic and personality will endear Bears’ fans to him. The Bears and McClellin are a good fit.
He’s not only blue-collar, but he’s blue turf. Boise is endeared to him also. I got the feeling that back in Marsing they’re all proud of him, but he’s just the kid that lives outside town down on Chicken Dinner Road (Yep, that’s the name of the road).