He has gone from a 5-foot-10, 210-pound freshman at football powerhouse Mater Dei (Calif.) High School to a 6-foot-6, 320-pound Fullerton Junior College prospect and hit every high and low in between.
It wasn't until new Tennessee head coach Butch Jones gave him a call over the Christmas break that he even considered playing football in the south, but two days of official visit later and he seems to be all but signed, sealed and delivered to Rocky Top.
"As of right now I haven't committed yet," Clay told InsideTennessee.com. "I am going back home tonight. I will get back home and have a sit down with my parents, talk everything over and hopefully make my final decision either late tonight or tomorrow. I still have to go to my high school and get my final transcripts and send everything over."
As an early enrollee, Tennessee fans can expect a decision as soon as late Sunday night on whether he will join Austin Sanders, Brett Kendrick, Dan Skipper and Dylan Wiesman as the fifth offensive line commitment in this 2013 class. And one thing that peaks his interest — early playing time.
"I had a really good visit this weekend and I was really impressed by everything they had to offer me," he said. "They said that the left guard spot is open and it could be mine for the taking if I work hard enough, which I am really interested in."
"They are some good guys that showed me a good time this weekend," said Clay of Crowder and Kerbyson. "We got to go to some really good restaurants today. We went to this little place called Tupelo Honey. That was some good food over there. I liked that place a lot."
Tennessee will battle it out with UCONN and Azusa Pacific University for Clay's services, but there was little doubt that the Fullteron, Calif., native was wowed by big-time college football in the south.
"Coming here — huge stadium, all the fans coming up to Coach Jones while we were with him at dinner, it is a really humbling experience," Clay said. "I liked the city, I liked the guys that I spent my time with.
"They definitely exceeded all my expectations. I came in here not knowing much about the south or the SEC. I really didn't come in here thinking that this would be the place for me, but after this weekend I can really picture myself playing here. I like the people, I like the town and I like the program."
Stay tuned for updates on Clay's recruitment to Rocky Top from InsideTennessee.com.