Analysis: Clay's commit adds to big Razorback week

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Thursday, July 26, 2018
Chad Morris, Collin Clay
Chad Morris, Collin Clay

— Arkansas head coach Chad Morris, defensive coordinator John Chavis, defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell and fellow assistant Barry Lunney, Jr. will likely all have big smiles on their faces at Friday night’s Woo Pig Nic in Fayetteville.

That quartet teamed up to add a fourth outstanding defensive end prospect to its current 11-man 2019 commit list when Oklahoma City, Okla., standout Collin Clay (6-5, 255) pledged to the Razorbacks on Thursday.

The North Carolina native chose Arkansas over the rest of a final five that included Georgia, Oregon, TCU and Oklahoma State and 16 other scholarship offers, including ones from Florida and Michigan.

The Razorbacks – who will host some 30 prospects for the picnic in Fayetteville on Friday night – had been the leader in the clubhouse, according to Clay, since he first visited Fayetteville back in February for a junior day.

Arkansas cemented that role when he took his official visit to Arkansas on April 7-9.

Clay, whose dad is 6-10, brings a big-time work ethic, great speed for his size and certainly looks the part of an SEC defensive end with or without his pads on.

He also made it clear at his press conference that he is a hard commit, done with recruiting and would not be taking any other visits.

Clay joins a trio of fellow four-star defensive ends in Joe T. Robinson’s Zach Williams (6-5, 225), Memphis native and Bradenton, Fla., IMG Academy’s Eric Gregory (6-4, 240) and Douglasville, Ga., Douglas County star Mataio Soli (6-3, 225) in announcing they will sign with Arkansas.

The addition of Clay means Arkansas will move up from its current 40th spot in ESPN’s team ranking when they figure in the OKC prep star while the Razorbacks are currently 39th in Rivals and 44th in 24/7’s rankings, both of which have updated their rankings.

The good news is the momentum the Razorbacks have with the additions of Gregory and Clay this week, but the flip side of that is they are just 10th or 11th in the powerhouse SEC, per the three main recruiting services.

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