Early attention motivates Clay

Clemson saw Chad Clay practice last spring and quickly offered him a scholarship. Clay was only a freshman at that time and many other schools are showing interest in this versatile athlete...

Chad Clay is a sophomore at Walton High School in Marietta, Ga. and if the name Clay rings a bell, it is because his father, Willie Clay starred down the road at Georgia Tech before spending years in the NFL.

Like his father, the 2016 prospect will be a big-time recruit and he is using all of his dad's knowledge to help get him there.

"My dad has helped me a lot," said Clay. "He trains me hard in the summer, he uses drills he learned in the NFL to help me, and he has helped me just by allowing me to grow up around the game too. I love the game, I love to work, and he is doing all he can to help me be the best I can be."

The 6-foot-1, 175 pound sophomore played on both sides of the ball for the Raiders in 2013. He finished with seven touchdown receptions at receiver and one interception at cornerback. He returned that interception for a touchdown.

There is one part of his game he feels helps him the most and he feels a little better about his game right now on the offensive side of the ball.

"I think my biggest strength is my speed. I play fast and that helps me on offense and defense. I am a little more natural at wide receiver at receiver and I feel most comfortable there right now. I felt good at corner this year being that it was my first year playing that position and I am open to defense, but receiver is where I think I am best at."

He could end up being pursued by colleges to play either side of the ball. Clemson saw him practice early in 2013 and quickly recognized his talents and potential.

The Tigers offered him late in his freshman year and Clay visited Clemson this fall.

"I was very surprised by the Clemson offer. They were out there at a practice and after seeing me there, they offered me. I have been in touch with them since then.

"I went up to Clemson for the Florida State game and I liked it. I liked the fans there a lot, the atmosphere is great, and to watch the team come down the hill was a great experience.

"Clemson has a real good environment and that stood out to me."

Plenty of other schools are showing interest in the talented athlete. Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Oregon, and Tennessee among others.

With his father playing at Georgia Tech, some may think the Yellow Jackets have a little advantage. That is not the case right now.

"I have always liked schools in the SEC," said Clay. "I like how that conference plays football. It is tough and fast. I also like Florida State and Clemson outside the SEC. Auburn is a school in the SEC that I really like right now."

Recruiting is not something Clay is really focused on at this time. He knows he is a sophomore, he knows he is still young, and he knows he has plenty of time to figure out what school will be best for him.

"I am not really thinking much about recruiting at all right now. It feels good to get an offer as a freshman and all of the attention is just motivating me right now to get better. I will start to worry about recruiting a little later."

CUTigers.com Top Stories