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Arkansas Football Countdown Day 78: Jonathan McClure

Bret Bielema and offensive line coach Sam Pittman will have help from a two-time All-American this season.

Arkansas scores a touchdown in the '78 Orange Bowl
Arkansas scores a touchdown in the '78 Orange Bowl

Jonathan McClure is a offensive guard transfer from Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas. While at Butler, he was a two-time All-America selection, including being named to the first team after his sophomore season.

Standing at 6-foot-4, 321-pounds, McClure was rated by as the No. 5 junior college offensive guard in the country. He started all 12 games during his second season at Butler, and his team, ranked No. 2, played in the NJCCA Football Championship Game. McClure's offensive line helped Butler average 45.2 points per game and over 485 yards of total offense per game.

McClure enrolled in January and had the benefit of going through Bret Bielema's first spring at Arkansas after signing his letter of intent in December. According to his father, John McClure, in an interview with, Jonathan had "four Big 12 schools (recruiting) him, some other SEC schools, and others around the country too."

The Wichita, Kansas native joins Martrell Spaight and Carrol Washington as junior college transfers in Bielema's first signing class at Arkansas.

Here is some video from of the incoming junior:

Pictured is a famous shot of one of the greatest victories in Razorback history. Arkansas dominated the '78 Orange Bowl as an 18-point underdog to Oklahoma 31-6 despite the suspension of multiple Hogs who played vital roles on the team that year.

The Sooners likely would have been declared national champions if they'd won the game, but the Arkansas victory knocked them out of the race and gave the Hogs an 11-1 record. The Razorbacks ended the year with a #3 ranking in Lou Holtz's first season, which matched both the eventual national champions (Notre Dame, who lost to Ole Miss early that year) and #2 Alabama (who lost at Nebraska early). Arkansas' only loss was to Texas (who also finished 11-1) in a 13-9 game in Fayetteville. This is an example of how college football's championship system has always been the work of fools.

Regardless, that Orange Bowl triumph cemented that team as one of the best in Arkansas history, and also set up the program for what was expected to be another great run in the fall of '78. The Hogs even landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the nation's #1 team in the preseason.


A native of Arkansas now calling the Hogs from yonder in Georgia, you can follow Graham on Twitter @grahamreaves or read his blog, On My Mind In Georgia.