Q&A with 5-star running back John Clay

Ranked as one of the top five backs in the country, John Clay is getting his share of attention. He's got the body and moves, which have garnered him comparisons to Oklahoma Sooner standout Adrian Peterson. Clay isn't looking for the comparisons, though. He's just looking for the wins. He talked about that, recruiting and his goals in this Q&A with John Clay.

When you look at the rankings, do you view yourself as one of the top backs in the country?

"Not really. I try not to compare myself to others. I am good at what I do. I just look at it that way and I don't compare how that is to everyone else."

Despite not putting a lot of stock in the rankings, do you think that status adds any pressure on you for your final year of high school ball?

"Yeah, probably. You have to be standing up to that kind of stuff, because people go by that. If you have even somewhat of a bad game, they start questioning whether you are any good or not."

Does being a highly touted recruit get you any attention locally that you didn't get before?

People come up and ask me for my autograph, like at the mall or something. It's really kind of embarrassing. I'm not special, so it's awkward when people treat me like I am."

I bet that makes you keep your close friends even closer.

"Oh yeah. I know who my friends are and have been. I know the ones that are around me, because we are friends and not because of what I do on the field."

You know you are going to be an even bigger target by schools you play against. What are you expecting as far as how they will play you as opposed to last year?

It's going to be more intense. They are going to coming after me. They will load up the box, but they did that last year, putting like nine guys in there every single play. I figure it's going to be just like that this year. We won state last year, so that makes it even a bigger deal, because it's the whole team with a big target on its back and not just me."

With your ranking and all the offers, is it impossible to put the recruiting on the backseat or do you even want to?

"Right now I have. I am concentrating on nothing but the season. The recruiting is still going to be there, so I am not even thinking about it at all right now."

Was there ever any thought about just getting it over with so you wouldn't have to deal with all this during the year?
When you look at the rankings, do you view yourself as one of the top backs in the country?

"Not really. I try not to compare myself to others. I am good at what I do. I just look at it that way and I don't compare how that is to everyone else."

Despite not putting a lot of stock in the rankings, do you think that status adds any pressure on you for your final year of high school ball?

"Yeah, probably. You have to be standing up to that kind of stuff, because people go by that. If you have even somewhat of a bad game, they start questioning whether you are any good or not."

Does being a highly touted recruit get you any attention locally that you didn't get before?

People come up and ask me for my autograph, like at the mall or something. It's really kind of embarrassing. I'm not special, so it's awkward when people treat me like I am."

I bet that makes you keep your close friends even closer.

"Oh yeah. I know who my friends are and have been. I know the ones that are around me, because we are friends and not because of what I do on the field."

You know you are going to be an even bigger target by schools you play against. What are you expecting as far as how they will play you as opposed to last year?

It's going to be more intense. They are going to coming after me. They will load up the box, but they did that last year, putting like nine guys in there every single play. I figure it's going to be just like that this year. We won state last year, so that makes it even a bigger deal, because it's the whole team with a big target on its back and not just me."

With your ranking and all the offers, is it impossible to put the recruiting on the backseat or do you even want to?

"Right now I have. I am concentrating on nothing but the season. The recruiting is still going to be there, so I am not even thinking about it at all right now."

Was there ever any thought about just getting it over with so you wouldn't have to deal with all this during the year?

"No, I wasn't going to let it get to me like that. I never thought about committing early and I won't. My decision is too important to just make, because of the attention. It's something I am going to take my time in doing."

Have you or do you plan on telling these coaches that you only want them to contact you at a certain time. Once the season hits, they can call you once a week and with your offers, it could get kind of crazy.

"No, not really. I don't get a chance to talk to too many coaches, but they are going to do what they do. I just have to do what I do. I don't really worry about the attention. It's a lot better than having none at all."

For the record, since people want to know, do you have a list of favorites right now?

"No favorites at all. I have eight offers or so, so those are teams I obviously like, but I am thinking about anyone who is recruiting me. I get a lot of letters and I think I will get a lot more offers during the actual season. But I don't even worry about all that right now."

Have you scheduled any officials or are you going to before the season arrives? If so, do you know where you might take your official visits to?

"No, not one. I don't even know when I will."

On a fun note, what's your favorite food?

"Fried chicken with Louisville Hot Sauce."

If you could put only one goal in mind as to what you want to accomplish your senior year, what would it be?

"I really want to stay healthy this year. Last year I missed three games and I don't want to have to sit out like that this year. I want to be healthy from start to finish."
"No, I wasn't going to let it get to me like that. I never thought about committing early and I won't. My decision is too important to just make, because of the attention. It's something I am going to take my time in doing."

Have you or do you plan on telling these coaches that you only want them to contact you at a certain time. Once the season hits, they can call you once a week and with your offers, it could get kind of crazy.

"No, not really. I don't get a chance to talk to too many coaches, but they are going to do what they do. I just have to do what I do. I don't really worry about the attention. It's a lot better than having none at all."

For the record, since people want to know, do you have a list of favorites right now?

"No favorites at all. I have eight offers or so, so those are teams I obviously like, but I am thinking about anyone who is recruiting me. I get a lot of letters and I think I will get a lot more offers during the actual season. But I don't even worry about all that right now."

Have you scheduled any officials or are you going to before the season arrives? If so, do you know where you might take your official visits to?

"No, not one. I don't even know when I will."

On a fun note, what's your favorite food?

"Fried chicken with Louisville Hot Sauce."

If you could put only one goal in mind as to what you want to accomplish your senior year, what would it be?

"I really want to stay healthy this year. Last year I missed three games and I don't want to have to sit out like that this year. I want to be healthy from start to finish."

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