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3-star OL picks Azusa Pacific

You read the headline right.

Fullerton (Calif.) offensive lineman Cody Clay has chosen to play his college ball at Azusa Pacific over SEC and other offers. Clay was a qualifier out of high school and nearly enrolled late at UCLA after his first season.

But Clay opted to return to Fullerton and play his second season at the school. Utah, Fresno State and Connecticut offered in his second year along with Tennessee.

After taking an official visit to Knoxville last weekend the three-star returned home and decided to play for Azusa Pacific.

"I've always been a behind-the-scenes kind of guy and I don't need the big stage," Clay said. "I felt I could get the same coaching from coach (Jackie) Slater as I could at Tennessee or Uconn. The Christian aspect was big but it wasn't everything. I just love the campus at Azusa and the coaches. It's just a great place to be."

Azusa Pacific offensive line coach Jackie Slater, also an NFL hall-of-famer, was pivotal to closing the deal. Slater has coached mammoth offensive tackle Luke Marquardt who looks poised to be a high NFL draft choice this year.

Clay at 6-foot-6, 322-pounds, is hoping for similar success under Slater's coaching.

"The coaches called me as I landed at LAX from my Tennessee trip. I told them I wasn't ready to decide yet so he said to let him know as soon as I was ready. They were so excited when I called them back and told them I was coming. I just enrolled and met all of my roommates and stuff. I'm ready for this next step."

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