Tight End, 2019 Commit
The Kraken: Low 4-Stars
Rivals: 4-Stars, 247: Low 4-Stars, ESPN: Low 4-Stars
Recruited by N/A
12/16/18 – I agree with everything I wrote below except for these adjustments.
Well, he already has a cartoon drawing of himself in a Clemson uniform wearing #1, so maybe that’s a spoiler on who will be taking Trevion Thompson’s jersey number on offense next year. He also refers to himself as “Big Play Lay,” so clearly he’s set to be a marketing major.
He’s put on a little weight in his hips and legs and seems to have gotten stronger. His HS team is using him as a blocker in the box more this year, though he still splits out as the boundary WR (9WR) as well. He still resembles Mike Williams on film a good bit as far as his catch radius and body control in the air go. This allows him to make catches in traffic. But to be clear, he doesn’t have anywhere near Williams top end speed, acceleration, agility, and nuances. He can find the hole in the zone, sit down, and catch the ball reliably underneath and that would help us a good bit.
Compared to Braden Galloway, Lay is more of a one-trick pony with his length, whereas Galloway is a better overall athlete as far as agility, acceleration, and instincts. Still, that frame though. He’s 6’6″ with a lot of room to put on weight and I expect him to carry 250+ before his career is over at Clemson. So even if he doesn’t turn into the next Jared Cook, he can be a punishing blocker and someone we can use as an in-line TE as needed.
I’m going to inch him up to a Low 4-Star as a player with great upside and I think he’s got a 75% chance of not redshirting as a freshman. The possibility exists that we lose Milan Richard, Cannon Smith, and Garrett Williams in the offseason. As an early enrollee, he’ll have a head start on Davis Allen who arrives in the fall. Therefore, he is almost certainly going to be no lower than 4th on the depth chart and possibly 3rd if Williams leaves.
3/28/18 – Jaelyn Lay is a tall TE prospect from Riverdale, GA, which is a small suburb (15k) of Atlanta. Hailing from Riverdale are also singer Ciara (Russell Wilson’s wife), Former UGA/Falcons QB and TV broadcaster, D.J. Shockley, and rapper Waka Flocka Flame. Lay has offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, and Miami.
Well, you can’t teach 6’5,” and as a junior in high school, he is that. He towers over the other players, so his height certainly appears to be legit. His frame is thin, and while he is listed at 220, I’d say he is closer to 200. Hopefully, he can be a legit 220 as a Senior. He has a lot of room to add weight to his frame and he might even grow another inch or two.
Most of the time, Lay lines up as the boundary WR outside which is our 9WR position. He also plays some Wildcat QB on film as well, but not a lot of H/TE. Lay has average speed. He’s not a burner and that probably prevents him from playing 9WR in college. He’s not running away from high school DBs on film, so he certainly won’t project to be able to do that in college.
Lay is a pretty polished route runner and he uses that to get separation instead of his speed like most high school kids. His high school team uses a lot of the same route combos we use, so there should be some transferable skills there. He’ll run the post, comebacker, and fade from the outside. He seems very comfortable working the deep middle.
His best attributes are his body control and a pair of very good hands. He instinctively uses his big frame to shield off defenders from the ball and shows college level ball skills already. If that sounds like Mike Williams, then I’m describing him correctly. Again, he does not have the speed right now to play WR, but having a guy with those skills is valuable anywhere.
Lay is a willing blocker and he seems to take pride in it which is good. There are a couple clips of him blocking through the whistle on the backside CB that support this.
I think this is a good take for a program like Clemson. He has some holes preventing him from being an elite level prospect at this time, but he has a high upside. He has a great frame, ball skills, body control, and the willingness to block. He needs to add 40-50 pounds and maintain his speed. I have him as a high 3-star recruit and look forward to checking back in on him after his senior year.