Cody Clay Wears Many Hats as Season Approaches - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Cody Clay Wears Many Hats as Season Approaches


Talking about Cody Clay always presents a bit of a quandary for the person speaking, or writing in this case. There is no clear way to identify the player who has established himself as a jack-of-all-trades for West Virginia football.

On the university's official athletic site, Clay is listed as a running back. At 6-foot-3, 252 pounds, that seems a bit of a stretch. Sure, he sits in on Coach JaJuan Seider's running back meetings, but so do any fullbacks who make up the roster.

So perhaps fullback would be a better term for a player who has never actually toted the ball, but does a good deal of blocking for those who do. Then again, as a redshirt freshman, he reeled in two receptions for 29 yards. Is he a receiver, then? Take another look at those measurements and the better description would likely be a tight end who can both block and catch.

The best descriptor for Clay, ultimately, is a team player.

"He may be our best football player on our team," WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said of Clay at Big 12 Media Days.

Those words from a team's head coach speak volumes to the sort of player Clay is, but the reasoning ranges far beyond being a good athlete or playing the sport well. His contributions come from so many different spots on the field because he has made himself available at multiple positions.

"Around the bowl time, I was doing a lot of receiver stuff and fullback and tight end. Just expect a lot more of that this year, I feel like," Clay said earlier this summer. "If they throw me the ball, we're able to add that sort of unpredictability to our offense where they don't know where we're going to throw it, that'll help us even more."

A sophomore for WVU, Clay established himself in a role that put him all over the field offensively after dabbling at offensive line when he first got to Morgantown. He says the coaches have still never really told him what weight they'd like to see him playing at, but he works to gain muscle and lose fat and do whatever it takes to keep himself on the field.

What Clay can be certain of, especially with such a glowing endorsement from his coach, is that he will be counting on in whatever role he can play at that time.

"I feels good to me knowing that I'm sort of important to this team," said Clay. "I would have never guessed that two years ago coming in this early on, especially, that they want me to have a leadership role and all that. It's really cool for me. It's a surreal experience knowing that I matter. I'm going to work as hard as I can to help out this team."

Holgorsen's plan appears to be to take Clay and line him up. No, there isn't more to that sentence. Get Clay on the field and depending on the play called from the sideline, he can put on his running back or receiver or tight end hat and execute.

"He can be in the backfield, he can line up at tight end, he can line up at slot receiver and do a lot of things," said Holgorsen. "Our job offensively is to try to disguise that, to try to put people in positions they don't think are going to be there and be able to execute our offense regardless of where they line up."

Clay isn't a household name, at least not yet. His jersey isn't available to purchase from the local merchandiser, nor is his face on the team poster. But as an in-state product from Alum Creek, he has reached a bit of a superstar status back home just by having an impact on the team that he and so many of his friends and family have always rooted for in West Virginia.

He goes home and finds that some people treat him differently now, as though he's someone to celebrate for his accomplishments as a Mountaineer. He's just proud to be able to help out.

"That's definitely really cool to me," Clay said. "Watching Owen Schmitt and all of them and knowing how important they were to the team, that's my goal right now is to help out the team as much as I can and to get us to win more bowl games and whatever we can do. I just want to go back to those glory days winning the Fiesta Bowl and all that. That's what I want for us."

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