Michigan Making its Mark on Clay (Part 1)

San Diego (CA) Scripps Ranch RB Brennan Clay is one of the top backs on the West Coast. He is also one of the top targets on Michigan's recruiting board. In part one of GoBlueWolverine's in-depth interview with the talented youngster he discusses his record setting season last year, his relationship with Michigan assistant Rod Smith, Tate Forcier, and more.

Sam Webb:  How did your season go last year?

Brennan Clay "Our season went great.  We actually had the best record in school history.  We actually beat our rivals for the first time in 11 years and it was overall a great season for the Scripps Ranch program.  As for myself, I did quite well.  I think I am the first player in San Diego history of high school football to receive and rush for over 1000 yards in both categories."

Sam Webb:  And that includes other great backs like Terrelle Davis and Marcus Allen is from, right?

Brennan Clay:  "Yes sir."

Sam Webb:  That's pretty company there.  So you did your thing on the football field. Obviously playing with a guy like Tate (Forcier) that had to help you out a lot -- what was it like to have Tate as a teammate?

Brennan Clay:  "You know Tate, he is a dynamic type of elusive player.  With his dual threat ability anything is possible.  He makes plays with his arms.  He makes plays with his legs.  The football smarts. He does everything well as a quarterback, which I think separates him from the rest.  Playing with Tate, it was truly a blessing.  We had fun in the backfield.  We're best of friends.  It all just runs in together.  It's pretty good.  It's pretty good."

Sam Webb:  He obviously came in and did really well for Michigan this spring.  Is there anything about that that surprised you?  I know he hasn't played a game yet, but you expect him to come in and grasp things so quickly?

Brennan Clay:  "I was talking to him about the QB situation there and Michigan was running kind of thin.  I felt that Tate, he could come in and he could do some great things next year.  I believe he will probably start as a true freshman and I say that with confidence.  I wasn't surprised really at all.  It's kind of funny, because you look at him and think, dang, I just played with him last year and now he has the possibility to be the starting QB at the University of Michigan.  It is mind blowing right now.  It's crazy."

Sam Webb:  Watching your recruitment; there are a lot of parallels between yours and his.  You are just as heavily recruited it seems, and your scholarship numbers are moving up the list pretty fast.  As the schools build up, does it get hard to distinguish between them?  How do you start to separate what from what and who from who when you got 30 to 35 schools coming after you?

Brennan Clay:  "Everyone tries to get trapped up in, ‘Oh they have got big stadiums, great academics, good football teams,' and across the board a lot of schools are going to have that and you can't get wrapped up in that.  What you have to find out is what best suits yourself, academically and athletically speaking, and whatever fits in your heart.  When you step on that campus you want to look at how the community is, how the people are around town, and I think the most important thing of them all is how you (interact) with the coaches.  If you're comfortable around them.  You are going to be around them for the next four to five years and I think that is a big piece of recruitment."

Sam Webb:  I know Coach Smith was recruiting Tate, and I see that he's your recruiter as well.  Since he was in there recruiting Tate anyways, has he sort of been able to build a relationship with you over the course of time? Or is he just now starting to get to know you?

Brennan Clay:  "Oh no, over the course of the time we've been getting together.  We talk – I try to call him at least once every two weeks, get a scoop on him and how he's doing and what not.  We just share thoughts, not just recruiting process but life and everything.  He's such a great guy and he's down to earth.  I've said that before.  I don't even see him as a recruiter, I honestly see him as one of my true friends or as a mentor."

Sam Webb:  Has he been out to see you yet?

Brennan Clay:  "Yes.  He actually just came by, Friday.  That was the first time Coach Smith has come out there.  Actually Coach Dews came out that prior Monday and Coach Smith said he wanted to make the one trip and one trip only; and that Friday he wanted to come see me because he felt that I could be an asset to the University of Michigan, and that they are going to start recruiting me pretty hard.  It has been like that the whole time.  It is going to be sort of exciting."

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