So how would describe your official visit last weekend?
"It was just great. I love the place. I love the players and the coaches. I roomed with Kyle Martens. He was a real solid guy and I enjoyed getting to hang out with him. We talked about maybe rooming together when we get to Rice. Scott Mitchell was my host and he was one of the funniest guys I think I've ever met."
What do you look forward to at Rice?
"I know the coaches are going to push me to be the best player I can be. I look forward to the workouts and to practice. I know they'll be tough. Scott told me he threw up like 10 times a day when he came down here. The practices will be intense, but I look forward to getting in and learning the system."
How did your meeting go with your academic advisors?
"Those were great. I've been wondering a little about the (academic) workload there. There are programs in place to help anybody succeed if they want it though. I talked to some of the players and they told me not to worry about. It's a matter of managing time and staying on top of the academics. At Rice, there's such an environment of learning and education. I felt a lot better about academics after my visit."
How would you describe your style of play?
"I try to play the game the way it should be played - it's a battle against the team and the man lined up across from you. I don't just try to block, I try to demoralize my opponent so that in the 4th quarter when he's got nothing in the tank but his mental state of mind he knows I've been whipping his (butt) all game long."
So your style is pretty aggressive...?
"Yes sir, I really like to get after it. I try to play with a tenacious mind set."
What have you been doing since football season's been over?
"I've been hitting the weight room really hard. I'm benching right at 400 pounds now. My squat is about 485 and my hang clean is around 300."
What did you measure in at on your visit?
"I weighed 287 and measured 6-3. They couldn't believe I was 6-3. My frame is so wide that I don't look as tall as I really am."
Outside of football do you have any hobbies or interests?
"I'm working on finishing my Eagle Scout project before May."
Has anyone else been trying to recruit you?
"Everyone pretty much stopped calling when I told them I was going to Rice. Early on Iowa State and Oklahoma State were recruiting me pretty hard."
So you're firm in your committment?
"Oh absolutely. I told Coach Herman and Coach Bailiff I'm 100% going to be a Rice Owl. I can't imagine being anywhere else."
I have to share one more little tidbit here. I was in the truck with my family traveling when Clay called me back. My 13 year old son has been asking about Clay for months - he too played guard on his 7th grade football team this year so he looks up to Clay. He was pestering me to ask Clay questions about a hundred different things. Clay heard this and asked me to put my son on the phone. The two talked for over 10 minutes about offensive line technique, Boy Scouts (my son is working on his Eagle project too), school, and just life in general. My son hasn't stopped smiling since!
Let me tell you, Clay Hebert is a fine example of the players we want at Rice. Mean, strong, and tenacious on the field. And a young man of stellar character off of it.
Rice is proud to have you Clay - Welcome...