West Virginia product Cody Clay, who picked WVU after a visit to its football camp last year, is 100 percent sure that Morgantown will be his college destination. As a lifelong fan, he views the opportunity as a chance to emulate those he watched growing up.
"I've been a West Virginia fan my whole life and I've watched people like Owen Schmitt run the table and be idols to me – maybe one day I'll be like that," Clay said.
The tight end did just that in the Chesapeake Bowl, playing out of the H-back position as a lead blocker for running plays. Clay showed the ability to seal edges and create holes on sweeps; much like Schmitt did for West Virginia. He also added a pancake on a linebacker. Clay said he wants to make an impression right off the bat; he'll be able to do just that if he contributes this sort of effort.
Clay said he is excited about playing under coach Bill Stewart, but is looking forward to the opportunity to play under Dana Holgorsen in 2012. The former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator has assumed the same position with West Virginia, but will take over head coaching duties after next season.
"He knows what he's doing," Clay observed. Oklahoma State has a really good offense and I'm just excited to see what happens. Jeff Mullen, [former West Virginia offensive coordinator], didn't really use the [tight end] all that match."
In the offseason, Clay will continue to play basketball to keep in shape, in addition to lifting weights and run. He said he chose Morgantown not for the opportunity to display his skill set or play for a national championship; Clay simply loves the atmosphere.
A frequent visitor to the WVU campus -- Clay made numerous unofficial visits for home games this fall -- he has never wavered despite the announced coaching changes over the past month.