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May 27, 2014

Spring Spotlight: Clay

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After starting the season 0-2, and then losing two straight games later in the regular season, the Clay Blue Devils, located in Green Cove Springs, made it to the 5A state title game in 2013. They lost against a loaded American Heritage team 66-8.

To get the state final game, they had an interesting path. They knocked off Ribault 29-12, and followed that performance with a 74-73 epic shootout with Bishop Kenny. In the state quarterfinals, their offense slowed down but defense was stout in a 9-7 win against Pensacola Catholic. Their state semifinal matchup was another tight, high scoring contest against Lakewood as they won 40-38.

Clay is returning a ton of talent, including seniors and very talented underclassmen. 2017 running back Colin Wilson is the headliner for the underclassmen as he's already picked up offers from the likes of Clemson, Ohio State, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Clay also has another talented ball carrier in 2016 tailback Bilal Ally who has an offer from Cincinnati.

Rising seniors Chris Sakamoto, Billy Scriven, and Isaac Brinson are players to watch for the Blue Devils that have been adding scholarship offers as well.

The headliners of the 2014-2015 Clay roster are offensive lineman Michael Howard and Zach Baker. Both have brought in colleges across the country this spring to check them out.

J.T. Turner is an explosive athlete who clocked a 4.4 forty yard dash that will play running back and receiver this year. Defensive end Sean Grayer had 18 sacks last year and is looking for another big season rushing the passer.

Clay knocked off Creekside 35-20 in their spring game, despite missing seven starters. Clay offensive coordinator Ryan Wolfe believes his team did their job this spring.

"Our approach to spring is competition and focusing on us and getting better at what we do. We have some competition at some spots this spring. We return 14 starters from our team last year that finished 5a state runner up. Spring has been about finding the rights spots for different pieces. We are missing some starters for our spring game due to other sports and injuries."

Clay's goals for the 2014 season are winning the district title and making another run at the 5A state championship.

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