After a year of McKnight school, Charles Clay is hoping to land a job on UH’s special forces.
“I’m going to work my ass off to get on special teams,” said Clay, who has joined the Warriors as a walk-on receiver.
Last season, he played eight games on special teams for SMU, whose special teams coordinator was Dennis McKnight, a former UH coach.
“I love playing special teams,” Clay said. “That’s what I want to do (at UH). UH is known for hard-hitting.”
Clay, a 2009 Hilo High graduate, was at SMU for two years. He redshirted in 2009. He said he is eligible to play for the Warriors this season.
Before opting to transfer to UH, his mother discovered a rarely used exception to the NCAA transfer rule that usually requires a player to sit out for a season.
“The exception is if you weren’t a recruited walk-on” at the previous school, Clay said. “There are four different exceptions. I qualified under one of the exceptions. It’s all good.”
Clay said he was told he qualified because he was not a recruited walk-on at SMU and at UH.
“We made sure we called the NCAA, and they said I (qualified),” Clay said. “We looked into it and made sure. If not, I probably would not be (invited) to (training) camp. I’m really excited.”
Clay is listed on the Warriors’ tentative 105-player training camp roster.
A UH official acknowledged the rule, but said the school was awaiting paperwork from SMU. That should not be a problem.
“He walked on on his own,” SMU coach June Jones texted to the WB.
Clay is expected to compete at wideout. He has three years to play three UH seasons.
* * * * *
UH’s first summer session has ended, and several Mainland-raised players will be heading home for a break before returning for the start of training camp next month. Conversely, the bridge session and second summer session begin Tuesday, marking the arrival of freshman recruits.