Former TU Running Back Living His NFL Dream
Former TU running back Charles Clay is entering his second season in the NFL.
Considering Clay was a late-round pick for Miami last year, coming from the university with the smallest enrollment to compete in the FBS-subdivision, the Dolphins weren't holding high expectations for the former Golden Hurricane.
But Clay learned right away in camp that once a player makes it to camp, the potential teammates don't care about where a guy comes from.
"I got a chance to come in and talk with guys like Davone Bess who went undrafted," explained Clay.
"[Bess] worked his way into the position he's in. Coming from a small school, nobody cares out here where you got drafted. It's just, 'what can you do when you get here.'"
Clay didn't have the pro typical size to play tight end in the NFL or the speed and agility to be a pro tailback.
But he's proved to be more useful than just a blocking fullback. Clay finished 2011 with 16 catches for 233 yards and 3 touchdowns.
His final TD came as part of a 19-17 win over the division rival New York Jets, effectively eliminating New York from a potential playoff bid.
Clay isn't satisfied when the Dolphins started OTA's this week. And it's the first full off season for the 2011 class because of last season's early lockout.
He believes that will help him improve so much more with the extra workouts.
"I think it's big," said Clay. "Not only getting the body right, lifting weights but getting in the film room and having time to watch what other successful tight ends do, I think it goes a long way."
Whether or not Clay continues to develop as pro running back/tight end, he's doing what he always envisioned.
"It's a dream come true, man," Clay said.
"I always wanted to get here. But I didn't want to just get here, I wanted to be able to help a team out. So it's a dream come true for me and I'm just living it one day at a time."