Clay Conner, a 6’5” Quarterback and Safety out of Boonville, has committed to play with the Indiana Hoosiers football program next season. Conner is being recruited as an ATH, and plans to play on the defensive side of the ball. He committed with the program on February 25th, 2023.
Conner was tied for 4th in State with 6 interceptions in the 2023 season, and 2 that were returned for a touchdown. Clay played both sides of the ball and was a phenomenal pass/run quarterback. He threw for 13 touchdowns on 1,258 passing yards, and ran for 14 touchdowns and 1,004 yards. He had a mark on every game this past season.
I was able to watch Clay and the Pioneers take on Paoli last season, and he really was one of the most athletic players on the field. He’s very tall, and very quick and agile. Being tall and agile doesn’t really work out much for us tall people, but Conner is a freak of an athlete.
I reached out to Clay and asked him a few questions about the recruiting process, and what IU means to him.
“The recruiting process was pretty similar to any school. They reached out after watching me play and invited me up for a game. We continued to talk and that’s when Coach Hansen offered me the PWO (Preferred Walk-On) and I knew after that where I would be playing.”
”I’ve grown up an IU fan my entire life. Ever since I can remember I have been cheering for the Hoosiers so getting the chance to be a part of this program was a dream. But after really getting up to Bloomington more often recently made me love it even more, the environment is just the type of place you enjoy being at.”
“Trust the process and don’t stop working. I went to a camp almost every single weekend of my summer just trying to get noticed and it’s always felt like I never did. I could have the best camp I’ve had all summer throwing, catching, or playing defense and yet I’d leave with very little contact with coaches.”
“I went into my senior year with only 1 offer from Saint Francis in FW. I finished with around 12 and could have had more but once IU called, I knew where I wanted to be. It just comes down to how bad you want it. There is a lot you have to sacrifice to get to where you want to be, nothing is going to be handed to you. You have to make it a priority in your life while loving every second of it. You can’t get discouraged and you have to work harder than the next person.”
There’s a lot of great players out there, but its often times hard to hear about them, or for them to be heard. It’s a difficult landscape to navigate when trying to find the right camps, or programs, with all the other noise out there. We see it all the time, and its one of the reason we started writing, to help get the word out. I asked Clay about his experience with camps.
“It’s all about networking on Twitter. Just posting and reaching out to people is how they will find you. Most of the camps I went to were NAIA, the only big ones I went to were IU and Western Kentucky and they didn’t talk to me, they just talked to the dudes they already had on their radar. When you go to smaller camps the coaches see you and make sure to network with everyone there. Indiana Wesleyan, Marian, Georgetown, Kentucky Wesleyan – are all schools with camps that will for sure reach out and there are even more.”
“They will usually have all the dates on their twitter page or website. And once you follow their coaches just reach out and ask. And the biggest part is to not get discouraged and keep working because eventually someone will find you and take a chance.”
Great advice from a great young man. We hope he gets his chance to shine with the Indiana Hoosiers in the coming season. We will be rooting for him. To sign off, we asked him what he would miss most from his high school days.
“There are a lot of things I learned that will stick with me. Highschool football really prepares you for the real world and teaches you many lessons along the way. But the bond I made with all of my teammates this year is what is gonna stick with me the most. There are a lot of guys I call my brothers now that I would have never even become friends with if it wasn’t for football.”
At the start of the year we were all friends but playing together and working everyday trying to reach the same goal is really what separates us. Sometimes the teams we played had a lot more talent than us, but we just had more grit and will to win that kept us in games. Not many people look forward to waking up at 5:30am, and I know for sure a lot of people don’t look forward to working out at that time.”
“But with the group we had it was something we looked forward too, everyday we were excited to be at practice getting better just enjoying football. We still talk about football and tell stories and just look back on it because it was all some of the best times of our lives. That’s what I really will remember the most about high school football.”
Are you a player, or know someone who committed to play at the college level? Please send us a message, we’d love to feature them on the website.