With fullbacks Ryan Clarke
and Donovan Miles
shelved with various injuries, Dana Holgorsen needed to find someone who could step up and fill an important role in West Virginia’s offense.
Well, it looks like Holgorsen has found his guy in redshirt freshman Cody Clay
Clay, a George Washington High product from Alum Creek, W.Va., just outside of Charleston, has already worn a lot of hats during his brief two years in the Mountaineer program. At one point or another, Clay was either going to be a center, a tight end or an inside receiver. Now he’s a fullback, and according to Holgorsen, a pretty darn good one, too.
“I’m really proud of that kid,” said Holgorsen. “We didn’t know what he was going to be when we recruited him. The kid is playing well and he loves his role, whether it is at tight end or special teams.”
Last week against Baylor, Clay played 45 snaps while doing so “at a pretty high level,” according to Holgorsen.
Clay played a big part in West Virginia’s successful rushing performance last Saturday that managed to tack 151 yards on to its school-record total of 807 yards against the Bears.
“He had a lot to do with springing (Andrew) Buie for a lot of those runs,” said Holgorsen. “He is a very consistent guy and is a hard worker. He loves his role and he understands his role.”
What makes Clay so valuable to the offense is his ability to also step out and line up in the slot at inside receiver – and not just line up there, but become another threat in the passing game.
“Being able to get into the different sets with the same personnel drives defensive coordinators crazy,” Holgorsen admitted. “We are not going to put guys in there that are unable to fill that role. He can run and catch. He is not very fluid at it, but he can get the job done. And he does a great job of blocking on the perimeter.”
Having a versatile 260-pound guy out in space like Cody Clay
blocking for wide receivers Tavon Austin
, Stedman Bailey
, J.D. Woods
and Jordan Thompson
in the passing game, or coming off the ball out of the backfield to help create holes in the running game, makes West Virginia’s offense even that much tougher to defend.
Yes, it looks like Cody Clay
has finally found a hat that fits.