Having played in 12 games as a true freshman at Tennessee, Cameron Clear (Yuma, Ariz./Arizona Western) is a familiar name to coaches in the SEC conference. So it was no surprise Wednesday, when his first offer came from that conference.
Clear said Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Florida and Texas A&M have been showing interest, but it was the Wildcats and head coach Joker Phillips who extended the offer. Clear said he received a letter from Kentucky, informing of the official scholarship offer.
"I've been talking back and forth with Coach Phillips," said Clear, who added that he was planning to call Phillips later on Wednesday to try to set up an official visit in December. "It feels the same way as coming out of high school. I felt like I was wanted when Alabama offered me. I feel like that about Kentucky. I also feel like it could open up my recruitment a little bit more."
Texas A&M has made a recent run at Clear, and although the Aggies have yet to offer, the 6-foot-6, 285-pound tight end has scheduled an official visit to College Station on Nov. 23, when Texas A&M hosts Missouri. Clear said he was hoping to take an official visit next weekend as well, but his two potential destinations, Kentucky and Oklahoma, don't have home games.
One of the biggest things Kentucky has going for it, in Clear's mind, is the conference. Out of Memphis (Tenn.) Central, Clear is familiar with the SEC and wouldn't mind going back for his final two years.
"I didn't enjoy playing in the SEC, and even though it doesn't really matter what conference I go to, if I had to choose off the top, I'd choose to play in the SEC," Clear said.
Clear said there would be one major difference as he moves through the recruiting process this time, however.
"At first, coming out of high school, it was how I felt about a school," Clear said of choosing the Volunteers. "Now, it's sort of a business decision. It's going to be a little tougher this time. I feel like I might have to make a decision where I won't like everything about it, but it will be the best for me in the long run."
This season, Clear is part of a loaded Arizona Western team that is off to a 4-0 start. Though they haven't done much damage through the air, Clear said he is doing his part as a blocking tight end. After a win to open the season, the Matadors had a bye week before chalking up wins the past three weekends.
"After the first game, we had a big break, so it was kind of hard to get the vibe," Clear said. "But we got rolling and played well three weeks in a row. I think we'll be hard to beat toward the end of the season."