Often, a high school football player's statistics misrepresent that player's ability to play the game to a high level.
In the 2012 season, this could be seen at no better place than George Washington High School, where senior receiver Jordan Clay finished the year as an honorable mention Class AAA All-State selection.
That placement indicated that at least 82 players had a better year than Clay. Suffice it to say that as many won't be playing football next season at the level he will enter in the fall as a member of the Air Force Falcons.
Recruited to the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based academy, Clay was courted by tight ends coach Jake Moreland. Clay said Monday that the relationship between he and Moreland was anything but new.
"I'd talked to them pretty much since school started. He used to coach at Western Michigan, and I'd sent him my (game films) there," said Clay, who at 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds will revert to his former position after spending much of his senior year as a wideout in GW's offense.
"He got the tight end spot at Air Force and started sending me emails from the academy," Clay said. "He came and visited the high school about two weeks ago and I went on a visit last week. I loved it."
Clay committed to Air Force Friday in Washington D.C., where he and Huff Award-winning linebacker Elijah Wellman from Spring Valley played for the South team, which fell 38-13 to the North on Saturday.
"It was really good," he said of playing in the nation's capital. "It was a good experience to see how I stacked up against all these other D-1 players going to Notre Dame, Maryland and a lot of places. I thought I stacked up pretty well."
Clay caught 29 passes for 379 yards and four touchdowns in 2012, good enough to lead the Patriots in receiving but not to garner much statewide attention as one of West Virginia's top receivers. He said the team's heavy reliance on the running ability of two-time Kennedy Award winner and North Carolina recruit Ryan Switzer actually helped prepare him for the college game in other ways.
"As long as we're winning I don't care," Clay said of not being the central part of the GW offense.
"As long as we're making stuff happen and winning games. Coach (Moreland) wanted me for my blocking as much as for my pass catching ability so it really helped me, actually."