Clair, a 5-foot-9, 185-pounder who holds an offer from Iowa, visited Missouri for Junior Day on Saturday after contacting assistant coach Cornell Ford last month.
“I know Coach Ford comes up to my school like once a more or something like that — he comes up to my school a lot,” Clair said. “But personal contact-wise, they haven’t (kept in touch). But before Junior Day, like a week before, I followed Coach Ford on Twitter and we messaged each other.”
That led to an invitation for the St. Louis University High Class of 2017 standout to visit Columbia, where he got to learn a lot more about the program and what the Tigers have to offer.
Among the highlights of Clair’s trip?
“I’d have to say when I first got there and the coaches welcomed me, like they knew who I was,” he said. “I just felt welcomed to that environment. Also the locker room when we first got there, with all of the jerseys and rings and watches and all types of different gear that was in there.”
Clair enjoyed trying on the Tigers jersey. They didn’t have his number (23), so he went with his little league number (3) instead.
“I tried on the white and grey one,” he said. “That was the best one.”
Clair also got to spend some time with Ford, who in addition to recruiting the St. Louis area for years under former head coach Gary Pinkel and now new coach Barry Odom is also the running backs coach.
“He first asked me how big I was and I told him and he was kind of shocked because I don’t look how big I am,” Clair said. “So he was telling me basically to be patient because the process is long and all types of stuff.”
Clair is coming off a junior season in which he racked up 1,416 total yards (1,303 rushing, 113 receiving) and scored 21 touchdowns. As a sophomore, he had 798 total yards (690 rushing, 108 receiving) and seven scores.
The running back picked up an early scholarship offer from the Hawkeyes, following his sophomore season, but has not received another since. That could change soon because he has been in contact with several schools.
Clair said he speaks with Iowa coaches regularly, either by phone or in person.
“I talk with them maybe once a month, something like that, but I go up there a lot,” he said.
And next Clair will be back on the Iowa campus this weekend for the Hawkeyes’ Junior Day event. That will be one of a few trips he is planning in the near future.
“I know I’m going up to NIU Friday and then Iowa Sunday,” Clair said. “I might be going up to Syracuse in April and then I might go up to Western Michigan coming up.”