"Everybody knew what Cody was going to be,'' Seider said. "Everybody presumed he was going to grow into being an offensive lineman.''
That Clay did not grow into an offensive lineman wasn't because West Virginia's coaches didn't try to turn him into one. He was on campus only a few months, working as a very atypically sized slot receiver, when WVU's then-new offensive coaches tried to make him a center.
That experiment only lasted until it became obvious that Clay wasn't suited to being a 320-pounder and they moved him back to the slot. From there he morphed into a combination slot receiver, fullback and even a tight end on the rare occasions Holgorsen decided he needed one.
Rather than experiment with Clay at all those positions to see which fit him best, the Mountaineers have pretty much decided to utilize him at all of them. Judging by last season - when he was a regular in the lineup - it has become a huge success. He was particularly useful as a blocking back.
"The kid is just doing everything,'' Seider said. "We've got him blocking, catching the ball out of the backfield, catching the ball at receiver. I'm really impressed with what he's doing.''
A blocking back might not sound necessarily glamorous, and it isn't. But it's necessary.
"To me, if you don't block, you're not playing,'' Seider said. "That quarterback position is too important, especially in this offense. So if you don't block, you're not getting in. I don't care how good you are running the ball.''
Clay is not just blocking for the quarterback. He's also leading Garrison and Buie into the line and, perhaps more importantly, pushing them.
"He makes the running backs room better because those guys see him competing and laying it on the line every day,'' Seider said. "It's easy when I can say, 'Look at Cody. Do you understand how privileged you are to have a guy in front of you laying his body on the line for you like that?' It's making them want to work hard.''
Clay might never find himself actually taking a handoff because that's not his job. But the Mountaineers think so highly of the need for a guy with Clay's skills they are already planning for the next wave. And who knows? He might carry the ball eventually, too.
"Let's put it this way: I have no problem putting the ball in his hands,'' Seider said. "And I'm hoping [incoming freshman] Elijah Wellman will be that same type of kid. You need those kids. Those kids build a program, the blue-collar kids who do everything you want them to do. You need those kids in your program.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.