When Williams was hurt and unable to play at Iowa State, though, Clay embraced the moment and shined.
“I just think it's a great tribute to staying after it and being accountable to your teammates, and always practicing hard and playing hard,” said OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. “He's a guy that all the coaches trust because he knows what to do, he's always working hard, and he's always working to be in position to make something happen. So when he did get his opportunities, he was ready for it.”
Clay finished his junior year with 83 carries, 511 yards and six touchdowns, including Bedlam's game winner.
In 2013, Williams and Clay — former San Diego high-school rivals who are now roommates — are expected to carry the load in Oklahoma's run game.
“It was a big weight off my shoulders, because I knew I could play in college,” Clay said of his late-season success. “That wasn't the problem at all. The problem was just being healthy.
“Finally, I got a chance to be 90 to 100 percent every game. I felt good. That's my biggest focal point right now is just staying healthy. I'm still putting on weight, becoming stronger and faster. I'm excited. It's just been a blessing.”