6-1, 207, 4.75
Twiggs County High School
NR: 24 Rating ****
The Stats: As a senior at Twiggs County, Antonio Clay posted 136 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss, and eight sacks. Clay, who was recruited to Clemson assistant coach Ron West, chose the Tigers over offers from Oklahoma, Miami, Florida State, and Georgia.
Strength: Clay is an active linebacker prospect with excellent speed from sideline to sideline. He can play inside or outside on the next level depending on the scheme.
Why Clemson? "Going to Clemson will be closer to home for me, and I like that," said Clay. "Plus, I know a couple of guys already going there with Ray Ray and James. The coaches really made me feel welcome every time I was there too. Coach West and Coach Blackwell and Coach Bowden let it be known that they wanted me at Clemson from day one. They always stayed with me."
Tidbit: Clay found himself committed to several schools during the recruiting process, including Oklahoma, Florida State, and Miami. In fact, it wasn't until the early morning hours of National Signing Day that the news broke Clay would be coming to Clemson. After several tense hours at his press conference announcing his school of choice, Clay eventually signed his Letter of Intent and faxed it in to Clemson.
Tommy Bowden Says: "You look at his athleticism. He's a tall lean guy that makes a lot of plays. He could be THE guy because of our depth. We don't have a lot of depth linebacker. And then, because of his productivity in high school, he is going to be able to come in and compete pretty soon. And I think from a national perspective it gives you a boost (to get a player like Antonio Clay away from Oklahoma). We would have been real happy had we got him or not. But I think the way it unfolded shined a little brighter light on the class simply because of the drama involved of the last day."
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