MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The 2015 West Virginia senior class may be one of the most respected and beloved in Mountaineer football history.
With veterans like Karl Joseph, Terrell Chestnut, Jared Barber, Nick Kwiatkoski and Jordan Thompson leading the team, it’s safe to say the Mountaineers certainly never lacked the talent to reach a 7-4 (and possibly 8-4) record.
Among WVU’s 20 seniors is West Virginia native Cody Clay. According to the Mountaineers’ highly regarded tight end, this season is about something greater than just football; It’s about leaving his heart on the field for his home state of West Virginia.
“The seniors met with Dana (Holgorsen) earlier this season after we had lost four-in-a-row and our goal at that point was really just to win out and to really just leave West Virginia better than what we found it as a senior class,” he said. “That’s really just important to us.”
After that rough stretch of four losses coming to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and TCU in October, the Mountaineer seniors have done their part to lead West Virginia to wins in each of the last four games.
In the month of November, WVU claimed it’s first Big 12 victory over Texas Tech followed by wins over Texas, Kansas and Iowa State to not only make them bowl eligible, but to give them the opportunity to end with a respectable 8-4 record.
“Just say it out loud and you can kinda tell the difference between that,” said Clay when asked how much better an eighth win sounds compared to the current seven. “It (November) was a complete 180 compared to October. I’m really happy about it. I think we’re all really happy about it. I didn’t really realize it until yesterday when Dana (Holgorsen) said we were 100 percent in November. It’s just really cool.”
Although the Mountaineers are on the verge of finishing with the most wins in a season since joining the Big 12 back in 2012 (when Clay was just a redshirt freshman), he says not a single thing has been handed to them on a silver platter.
“We just wanted to go out and fight like we had all season,” said Clay. “Obviously the four teams we played in October were tough teams, tough opponents, but we didn’t want to go out and say it would be easy at that point. Nothing in the Big 12 is easy. Nothing is a walk in the park. At that point, we just had to keep fighting.”
With just one regular season game and a bowl opportunity left for Clay in the old gold and blue, he has 20 career receptions for 170 yards and three touchdowns slated on his resume.