Clay Holford spent most of his early years thinking he would be an only child.
Audrey came along after Holford had already taken up football and quickly became his biggest fan. She could also end up being UNT’s biggest asset when it comes to its efforts to sign the Hebron standout middle linebacker.
Holford, who is 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, visited UNT, the only school that has offered him a scholarship thus far, this weekend.
Navy, Tulsa, Eastern Michigan, Michigan and Arkansas have all shown interest and are among the schools that have told Holford they could offer him after seeing how he performs in spring practice beginning Wednesday.
Even the most prominent of those schools could have a hard time offering Holford opportunities that would outweigh playing close to family at UNT.
“Being around my family is big for me,” Holford said. “I always wanted to have a little brother or sister. Audry has attended all my games and some practices.
“She likes to watch me play. She is playing volleyball and soccer and swimming. She might end up being the better athlete.”
There is plenty of family history to live up to for both Holford siblings.
Clay Holford’s father, William, was a linebacker and tight end at DePauw in Indiana, while his mother was a standout high school athlete.
Holford is well on his way to building on that legacy. He was a first-team All-District 5-5A selection last season. The league also includes Coppell and Denton Ryan and features some of the top teams and players in the state each season.
While being close to family is important to Holford, it’s far from the only aspect about a potential career at UNT he finds intriguing.
“One of the awesome things is the brand new stadium,” Holford said of Apogee, which opened in 2011. “It’s really nice. I also like that the housing and training facilities are right there.”
UNT offensive coordinator Mike Canales is recruiting Holford, who is also getting to know the rest of the Mean Green’s staff.
“One of the biggest things for me is the coaching staff, how hard they work and the kind of people they are,” Holford said. “I also want to go somewhere that education is important.”
UNT is coming off a year in which it posted the highest team GPA in Conference USA.
Holford has no timetable for when he will decide on where to continue his career on the college level, but could make the call in a matter of weeks.
“Right now I have no idea when I will decide,” Holford said. “I want to wait and see what options I have after spring football. I will weigh my options during and after spring ball. I will commit when I feel that it’s right.”
Mean Green blog recruiting series
ATH Billy McCrary, Leander Rouse
QB Chris Riddle, University Christian, Jacksonville, Fla.
CB Nafees Lyon, Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek
DL Carl Thompson, Guyer
OL Beau Hott, Plano
WR Akile Davis, DeSoto
ATH Jonathan Giles, Fort Bend Elkins
OL Clayton Woods, Highland Park
DL Keenan Kelly, Cedar Grove, Ga.