The Eastern Michigan Eagles got a commitment from an unlikely place on Father's Day when Carrolton, Texas native Clay Holford committed to EMU's class of 2015.
I am blessed and thankful to say that today I have verbally committed to play Football at Eastern Michigan University— Clay Holford (@Clay_Holf2) June 14, 2014
The 2-star 6-foot-2, 230 pound linebacker chose the Eagles over offers from North Texas and Nevada, despite EMU being substantially further from his current hometown.
"We actually used to live in Ohio," Holford told Hustle Belt. "I do have family that still lives in Columbus. The fact that Ypsilanti is only three hours away, and they can drive up and see me play."
Holford also said that his parents may have a chance to relocate to be closer to EMU, so the move won't be that far from his family after all.
Despite having offers from more successful programs, and interest from numerous others, Holford said he felt like EMU was his favorite and that he had a connection with the program.
"I really, truly love the coaching staff. I really think they're going in the right direction with the program," he said. "I was just really ready for it, I believe. What Eastern Michigan had going for them was really appealing to me, and I felt it was time that I show my commitment."
First year head coach Chris Creighton is undertaking a task that several others before him have failed at: restoring EMU's program to a competitive state. But clearly, his energy is infectious and it's led to some solid undervalued talent committing to the Eagles early on this summer.
Holford is one of those players. His size is hard to ignore. He already has the frame to be a formidable middle linebacker from day one, and in a conference full of undersized players, size like that is invaluable. He hits like a brick wall, has solid instincts and is deceptively quick. It's the makeup of a sleeper prospect who with a little work on technique could develop into an All-MAC talent once he hits the field in Ypsilanti.