Notes: Gained nearly 10 yards per carry with 58 touchdowns as a Wisconsin prep, also excelling in track by qualifying twice as a 4x100 meter state finalist. Redshirted in 2007. Played all 13 games in '08 (one start) and carried 155 times for 884 yards (5.7-yard average) and nine touchdowns. Was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in '09 when he started 8-of-13 games and toted 287-1,517-18 (5.3). Had both ankles operated on and sat out '10 spring practice. Was a Doak Walker finalist in the fall when he saw action in 11 games (started the first nine) and rushed 187-1,012-14 (5.4). Sprained his right MCL against Purdue and missed two games. Had 11 career receptions for 72 yards (6.5) and zero touchdowns. Did not bench at the Combine because of a right shoulder sprain. Did not run shuttles because of right ankle injury. Elected to not perform 3-cone drill.
Positives: Outstanding size with strong thighs and good run strength. Moves fluidly and shows good knee extension for a big back. Charges downhill with a head of steam. Runs behind his pads and is a load to bring down. Took better care of the ball as a junior. Played in a pro-style, power running scheme and has shown he can handle a heavy workload.
Negatives: Inconsistent. Weight has fluctuated and ballooned to the 270s as a junior. Is tight-hipped and takes time to get rolling. Lacks long speed and shows no gear change. Has small hands and is seldom used as a receiver - not a factor on third downs. Turns his shoulders and opens the gate in pass protection. Has had ankle problems dating back to high school.
Summary: Essentially pushed out the door after losing carries to a pair of younger backs, Clay is a big, downhill runner with good feet who has enough run strength and agility to be an effective complementary back if he's able to keep his weight and conditioning in check. Has shown renewed commitment following the season, dropped roughly 40 pounds and could compete for a job as an inside runner if he stays motivated.