2010 Recruiting Spotlight: RB Brennan Clay
The Guitar Hero tsunami has engulfed the country, capturing doctors, lawyers, housewives and even highly-touted college football recruits under its surge.
"You would think I would play sports games, but I don't even play NCAA Football or Madden," admitted four-star junior running back Brennan Clay. "This whole new Guitar Hero and Rock Band-type of thing came out and I just fell in love with it."
Clay is currently rocking out on the "Expert Level", which is the highest stage a gamer can attain in Guitar Hero, and claims he can beat 80 percent of the songs on it.
When informed that Joel Zumaya, a relief pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, missed three games during the 2006 ALCS because of inflammation in his wrist and forearm from playing Guitar Hero, Clay busted out laughing in astonishment and confirmed that the closest he's ever been to an electronic guitar injury was "a little cramping" in the arm.
Clay however, is not aspiring to become a "guitar hero", but rather a football legend.
"I started playing organized flag football when I was six or seven years old, and I remember the coach asked me if I could run," Clay recalled. "So he handed me the ball on a toss and I just ran. He said, 'Man, I've never seen a little boy run that fast in my life,' so I guess it was just one of those destiny things."
Last season at San Diego Scripps Ranch, the 6-0, 190-pound back compiled 1,453 yards and 20 TDs on the ground while also registering 1,055 yards and 6 TDs on 70 receptions. Clay also added a pair of kickoff return TDs for a total of 28 all-purpose scores.
The Falcons enjoyed their best season in school history behind Clay's success on the field. Scripps Ranch finished the year with an 8-4 record, and made it to the third round of the Division II playoffs where the team was eventually upended by the defending champs.
"We actually beat our cross-freeway rivals this season, the Mira Mesa Marauders," exclaimed Clay. "We hadn't defeated them in 11 years, and some of us were joking that the last time our team beat them, we were in grade school!"
Clay boasts a 3.8 GPA which, coupled with his uncanny athletic ability, has attracted premier programs from across the country. He currently has written offers from Stanford, Michigan, Duke, Connecticut and San Diego State, and has received verbal offers from Baylor and Wisconsin.
"Oregon, USC and Cal are my top three and I am constantly talking with them," Clay said. "Stanford is number four (on the list), right behind Cal at this point."
Clay has only visited USC and UCLA to date, but has tentatively planned on taking a trip to Michigan during spring break. He also said that in the next couple of months he hopes to visit Oregon and stop by Cal on the way back.
"The academic name that comes with Stanford is big for the future," stated Clay. "I was so grateful to be offered a scholarship from Stanford.
"They just got Tyler Gaffney so what position he plays will obviously end up being an issue because he already has a year on me. So we'll see how things turn out." (Gaffney is a RB/FB also from the San Diego area who signed a LOI with Stanford in early January.)
While he hasn't visited The Farm yet, Clay has had the opportunity to talk with head coach Jim Harbaugh on a few occasions.
"He's a straight forward kind of guy and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He didn't talk about straight athletics first. He just lets you know, you're coming to Stanford to get an education and then play football. And that is something I've been hearing my whole life so I am used to that, and it sounds like such a good play."
Clay will be taking the SAT on May 2 and maybe again in June, and is contemplating when he wants to announce his decision.
"I've been battling back and forth between if I want to get it out of the way before my senior year so I don't have to worry about it, or wait," Clay said. "I am going to the US Army All-American game so I think I want to commit on TV. I've always dreamed of having my mom by my side and to be able to put a smile on her face by committing to a D-I school."
About the Author: Scott Cooley is a seasoned sports writer who was groomed as a reporter for ESPN.com, and he most recently served as the media relations manager for the San Jose SaberCats arena football team. He earned a Business and Economics degree from Hendrix College where he also played baseball. Cooley has a passion for producing sports content, and his writing evokes thought into the minds of his readers with a witty and entertaining style. He is a freelance writer who has been published on multiple media platforms and is always looking for additional opportunities. Cooley and his wife, Christina, reside in Palo Alto where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry at Stanford. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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