NorCal LB Is Feeling Pac-10

Michael Clay, the 6-0, 205-pound linebacker from Bellarmine Prep in San Jose, is one of the top prospects in Northern California. He talks about his preference for the Pac-10 and a connection with a UCLA freshman...

San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep will likely have the most D-I signees in NorCal next year and the anchor of their defense has been linebacker Michael Clay (6-0, 205), who was named the West Catholic Athletic League Linebacker of the Year.

Clay first made noise last spring when he was the top linebacker at the Oregon Nike Camp and carried it over into WCAL play, where he helped the Bells win the toughest league in NorCal.

Now, several schools are showing Clay attention.

"I'm hearing a lot from the Pac-10 schools," said Clay. "No one has offered me yet, but all the schools have told me they will come see me in the spring and watch some more of my film. I think schools like me more as a safety and want to convert me to a strong safety, which I'm fine with. I can get up to about 210-215 and I run a 4.6 right now, so I want to work on my speed."

Cal, Oregon and UCLA are all of high interest for Clay, with the Ducks the slight leader.

"Oregon stands out to me the most right now, but I really like Cal and UCLA too," said Clay. "Nevada, UNLV and San Diego State have all been contacting me a lot too."

Clay works with Pro Sports USA, a training group in San Jose and three of his workout partners are Pac-10 players, Kiko Alonso who signed with Oregon, Anthony Miller, who signed with Cal, and Steve Sloan, who is a freshman at UCLA.

"Those schools all stood out to me before but with those guys there, they have someone I would know and talk with to learn more about the schools," said Clay.

Cal, being in the Bay Area, has the local advantage and Clay and Miller are close friends.

"Anthony has helped me a lot and he's putting in a good word for me. I've talked to the Cal coaches and I went to a game last fall. I'm hoping to get to their Junior Day too," said Clay.

Meanwhile, UCLA was one of the first schools to show interest in Clay.

"I heard from them last year (with the previous coaching staff) and I'm going to send them some more film. I'm really interested in UCLA too," said Clay.

Clay said while his preference is to stay in the Pac-10, he wouldn't have a problem leaving the area for college. As for an early decision, he's not opposed to it, but it's not his first choice.

"If the school really wanted me to, and it was a school I really liked, I'd commit," said Clay. "But if not, then I'd like to wait to see what my options are."

Next month, Clay will be at the New Level/Scout Pass Camp in Las Vegas and he'll be at the Scout Combine in May. He's also planning to return to the Nike Camp, though he's hoping to go to nearby Stanford this time around.

During his 2007 junior season, Clay had 110 tackles and was named first team all-state underclass.

Academically, he has a 2.8 GPA and will take the SAT on March 1st.

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