Clay Receiving Plenty of Interest

At 5-foot-9 and 170-pounds Jamal Clay has enough speed and size to play offense, defense, and quite a bit of special teams once he gets to the next level. By way of Mahwah HS [Mahwah, NJ], Clay is currently receiving attention from a number of Big East and ACC schools.

Jamal Clay has the type of versatility that college coaches often look for in an athlete. Last season Clay ran 32 times for 274 yards while scoring five touchdowns. He also caught 13 passes for 231 yards and a score.

Clay has been receiving increasing amount of interest from a number of schools spanning several of the nation's top conferences. "Some of the schools that have been recruiting me are schools like Connecticut, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Maryland, Temple, Boston College, Stanford, Illinois, and many others," stated Clay.

The North Jersey standout has been busy competing in track during the spring season. Consequently, due to scheduling issues he hasn't been afforded the same possibility, in terms of attending Junior Days and visiting schools of interest, on an unofficial basis as some other prospects.

"I haven't really been able to make any Junior Days because of track but I will be going to the Temple Junior Day on May 17. I took a couple of visits to Rutgers, I also took a visit to Virginia and I will be visiting Boston College, UConn, Temple, and Maryland," continued Clay.

One of Clay's most recent visits to Rutgers was taken this past weekend during the Scarlet Knights' last scrimmage before the Spring Game.

"I really like the coaches at Rutgers. They all seem real cool and I felt welcome when I went on my visit there. It's very comfortable and I feel right at home. Also, Kevin Haslam who went to the same school as I went to, tells me a lot and I could see myself at Rutgers," offered Clay.

The Garden State athlete also talked about UVA, the only other schools he's had the opportunity to visit in person to date.

"I liked Virginia. I have a cousin that went there and its a very old school, and one thing that they have is a great tradition with great academics. Everybody is close and that's always a good thing," said Clay.

In addition to the aforementioned schools, Clay is looking for a particular feel to the future school of his choice.

"A few of the things that I am looking for in a school are the academics, tradition, whether they are like a family, and where they will be in a few years. Wherever I go I want to be comfortable."

As previously mentioned, in addition to his first unofficial visit to his state school, Clay also attended this past week's RU Football scrimmage.

"When I went to Rutgers, it was actually my second visit this spring. I thought the practice went pretty well. The offense looked real sharp which is the side of the ball I want to play in college (WR). But the defense looked good as well. They had a couple of good stops. Some say I could play DB in college and I wouldn't mind that either. I just want to play football."

"I really enjoyed myself at Rutgers. I talked with Coach Hewitt, Coach Susan, and Coach Schiano. It was great when Coach said I could play at that level. I think he wants me to play CB by looking at my highlight tape. All the coaches were cool guys and like I said they made me feel really comfortable," continued the Garden State athlete.

Although not 100% sure as of this writing, Clay will try to make it down to the Rutgers Spring game this upcoming Saturday. In addition, he'll also be attending Spring Games at Maryland on April 26, the Temple Junior Day on May 17, and plans on attending summer camping sessions at Temple, UConn, Boston College, and perhaps Maryland. Clay also states that he'll be competing at the Rutgers Camp at the end of June.

With track season over, Clay has been spending most of his time training, getting ready for the various camps and combines that he'll be attending.

"My off-season training is very crazy. I run spring track 6 days a week, and I train at the Velocity Sports Performance in Mahwah NJ. The facility is great and their training staff trains their athletes to be great at everything: speed, power, agility, etc. The goal is to get bigger, faster and stronger. I have been training on all my skills, my route running, speed, hands, release, throwing power and accuracy because I play some QB, footwork, coming in and out of breaks. I want to be the best athlete I can be and one of the best in NJ so I can't juts focus on one skill. I have to focus on all of them," continued Clay.

"By the Big Time Showcase, I want to run in the 4.4 range," concluded Clay.

Matei may be reached at mgeorge@rutgersfootball.com


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