Clayton's Eric Hoy makes the case to be a running back

CorrespondentOctober 21, 2013 

Clayton's Eric Hoy (23) stiff-arms Knightdale's Grant Peters (48) in Knightdale, N.C. on Friday, October 4, 2013. Knightdale won 52-27.

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— Clayton junior football player Eric Hoy is not one to bring a lot of attention to himself or make many demands. So when Hoy approached Clayton coach Randy Pinkowski this past offseason with a concern, Pinkowski listened.

Hoy always had seen himself as an offensive player, but early in preseason drills the Comets were using him only as a cornerback.

A week into practice, a hesitant Hoy approached Pinkowski.

“He came into the office and said, ‘Coach, I’m a running back,’” Pinkowski said. “I said to him: ‘You know what you are? You are the best corner in the program, but if you’ll be patient with me, I have a lot of things that I am going to ask you to do before we get done.’”

Through eight games, the versatile player has done just about everything possible for a 5-3 Clayton team.

He has rushed for 586 yards and five touchdowns. He has 348 yards receiving and four touchdown receptions.

Hoy also has returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown, thrown for a two-point conversion and intercepted a pass from his cornerback position.

In all, Hoy has accounted for more than 934 all-purpose yards. Not bad for a defensive back.

“I’ve always been an offensive player, so when they had me on the starting (defense) I was a little worried,” Hoy said. “But I was always going to believe in coach to put me where he thought I would play best at.

“It’s been great touching the ball, but I wouldn’t be able to do anything without my teammates.”

The 5-foot-6, 140-pound Hoy has complemented fellow running back Jace Brown nicely. Brown has run for 661 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Hoy has also become one of quarterback Sam May’s most reliable targets and leads the team in receiving with 15 receptions.

Hoy credits the strong play of Rashan McKey for allowing him to be so effective at cornerback.

“Eric’s the great story,” Pinkowski said. “He’s a smaller player, really works hard in the weight room to develop himself and get bigger and stronger.

“He comes to practice every day, does the work and rarely says a word.”

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