October 17, 2013

CMU felt just like home for Walderzak

Central Michigan received their eleventh commitment in the 2014 class yesterday, when Standish-Sterling (Mich.) tight end Clay Walderzak have his verbal to the Chippewas. Growing up about an hour away from Mt. Pleasant, Clay has been familiar with the CMU program for years and his familiarity helped them land the talented athlete.

"CMU was just a nice place," said Walderzak. "I've always liked it, ever since I was a little kid going to the campus and games. I've just always liked everything around there, from the school and campus to the area."

Helping his commitment to CMU was the referral of a familiar source...his brother. Cole Walderzak was a talented football player all in his own, but track and field became his calling and he is currently a sophomore at CMU specializing in the hammer throw, discus and shot put. And Clay is no slouch on the track surface either. Last year as a junior he won the Division 3 state championship in the shot put and was runner up in the discus, breaking many of the records his brother held. Now he will get to remind Cole in person for the next four years.

"It's going to be nice having him up there," added Walderzak on going to the same college as his brother. "It's going to feel like home again, and it will be great having a familiar face when I first get there."

Clay stands in at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds and his brother Cole goes 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds, and it is no coincidence. Their father Paul Walderzak was a 6-foot-4 and 245-pound left tackle for Saginaw Arthur Hill in the 1970's. In fact, he can claim stake in arguably one of the best high school teams in history, as his 1973 squad went undefeated and outscored their opponents 443-0. He would go on to play football at Nebraska before returning to Standish where has subsequently coached football for the past 32 years.

Right now Standish is 6-1 overall, with their only blemish being a 41-28 loss to West Branch (Mich.) Ogemaw Heights last week.

"Our season is going real good, we are 6-1 right now and heading to the playoffs again," said Clay. "We have played some tough teams and we didn't come away with a win last week, but we will keep working and get better from that."

Playing all over for Standish-Sterling (TE, WR, DE, P, K), Clay has tallied 13 receptions for 230 yards and five touchdowns on offense, and 21 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two sacks on defense. He is also averaging over 48 yards per punt and eight touchbacks on kickoffs. Walderzak is being recruiting by CMU for multiple positions, but indicated they are currently looking at him as a tight end and long snapper.

Standish-Sterling has a bye this week, but will next be in action during the last Friday of October when they take on Tawas.

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