First On Board

George Washington (Charleston, W. Va.) High School's Cody Clay made a great impression at West Virginia's 7-on-7 camp – so much so that he earned a scholarship offer from the Mountaineer coaching staff.

Cody Clay, who attended the tournament with his George Washington teammates, had a great performance – one that solidified the evaluation made of him by West Virginia's assistant coaches. After watching Clay help his Patriot squad win the competition, the Mountaineer coaches asked him to stay an extra day for WVU's rising senior camp on Sunday.

From there, Clay picks up the story.

"I met with Coach Dunlap, and he asked me to stay today, and that he thought it would be worth my while," Clay said. "At that point, I had an idea I might get an offer. I worked out today, and about halfway through the coaches came up and asked me to meet with Coach Stewart in his office. They went and got my parents, and we all went up and talked with him. That was really cool. About 1:00 they offered a scholarship, and I accepted at 1:05."

Clay's quick acceptance of the offer wasn't surprising, given his family's long-term alliance with the Mountaineers.

"It's been a dream of mine to play there," he said enthusiastically. "We've been to I don't know how many games. I'm really happy about it, and my parents are too. They pretty much left the decision up to me, but I think they were as excited as I was. We are longtime Mountaineer fans."

"It's an honor to play there," Clay continued. "It's a great football school. They have everything I need."

As the first player to publicly commit in the class of 2011, Clay will likely have a number of eyes on him to see if his verbal stays true through February, 2011. That won't be a problem as far as he is concerned.

"I am very well content at WVU," he affirmed. "I'll stop the recruiting process now. It's been a long road, and it's a relief to get it out of the way. I've been going to camps for a while, and to get that off my shoulders is really good. I can concentrate now on my senior season and getting a state championship."

A tight end at George Washington, Clay presents some match-up problems for opponents. Most defenses at that level aren't used to seeing a 6-4, 240-pound guy get downfield for catches, especially from a flexed-out position on the line. But that's just what Clay can do, and when he displayed those skills at West Virginia's camp this week, the Mountaineer coaching staff saw a skillset that it thinks is well-suited to it's attack.

"I think I did good job catching the ball this week – I caught every pass but one," Clay recounted. "Coach McMichael saw most of my games this week, and I think he saw what I can do. The 7-on-7 camp is something we focus on (at George Washington) and I can split out in it like I do in high school."

Clay, a solid student who should have no trouble qualifying, could also grow into an offensive lineman, a note that WVU assistant Dave Johnson passed along to him. Clay thinks he can do a good job at tight end, but said that he wasn't opposed to playing any position where West Virginia needed him.


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