Machen played very well for Coach Tim Carter's football team last season as a 6-4, 270-pound right tackle. As he heads into his senior season the lineman is the same height, but is up to a stout 295 pounds, which means more trouble for teams facing the Tigers this fall.
Clay Machen is shown in action vs. Enterprise High during the 2010 season.
"We should have a good offensive line this year," Machen says. "We have four seniors and a junior up there so we have a lot of experience." One of those seniors is Caleb Peterson, the starter at left tackle who has a rating of four stars as an offensive guard prospect by Scout.com.
Machen, who has early scholarship offers from UAB, Memphis, South Alabama and Georgia State, has certainly been noticed by college coaches, too. He is now getting more attention from SEC level programs with Auburn and Tennessee showing some interest.
ACC teams Georgia Tech, Clemson and Florida State are also looking at the AHS tackle. From that group of colleges he has probably been receiving the most attention from Georgia Tech and says that the Yellow Jackets are one of the colleges that interests him the most.
However, the lineman is still checking out colleges so he doesn't appear to be in a rush to make a decision. "I plan to take more visits this summer to see some more of the colleges,"?he points out. Mississippi State, Memphis and South Alabama are on his trip schedule in the coming weeks.
As a senior the big lineman plans to put his athletic focus on football. "I was on the varsity basketball team last year, but I don't plan to play my senior season so I can keep my weight up," he says.
This summer the lineman is working on improving his strength and making sure he is in top condition when preseason practice begins.
Machen (74) is a big reason why Auburn High should have another strong team after winning its region title for three consecutive seasons.
If Machen goes on to play college football, he won't be the first member of his family to do that. His grandfather, Don Machen, was a three-year letterman as a running back for Coach Shug Jordan at Auburn from 1959-61.
Academically he has a 3.3 grade point average and is interested in majoring in business or marketing in college. A player who improved considerably as a junior, if he keeps up that trend he will likely have many more scholarship offers by the end of his senior season, which he notes that he is looking forward to with his team expected to be one of the stronger 6A squads in the state.