"I really couldn’t see myself not playing for Arizona.” Wildcat football commit ready for new challenge
Mount Si quarterback Clay Millen throws the football down field to his receiver. (Moni Samek, 247Sports)
Clay Millen, a senior at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie, Wash., and four-star prospect by 247Sports, committed to Arizona back in June, becoming the highest ranked recruit in the Wildcats 2021 class.
Millen chose the Wildcats over offers from Oregon State, Colorado, Florida Atlantic, UNLV and Indiana. He also passed up an offer from Oregon, where his older brother and fellow quarterback Cale plays.
As a current senior at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie, Wash., Millen took over for his brother as a junior last year after sitting on the sidelines during his freshman and sophomore seasons.
“I got to watch him my freshman and sophomore year and I’d sit on film study with him preparing for games, so my sophomore year for sure I felt like mentally I could play well,” Millen said. “I think watching and learning from him definitely allowed me to learn from him and helped me play well last year.”
Millen was not only able to learn from his brother, but also his father, Hugh Millen, who played at the University of Washington before playing in the NFL from 1987-96. Millen, whose dad is currently the passing game coordinator at Mount Si, says his father has been a huge help for him growing up.
“It’s been great,” Millen said. “From a young age, he’s taught me how to throw a football and he’s been a great coach to have. I’ve learned a lot from him through film study and having him coach me.”
Millen, a 6-foot-3-inch, 188-pound pro-style quarterback, threw for 3,145 yards and 34 touchdowns to only interception in his first season as the starter last year.
Millen recalled his most memorable of the season, a playoff game against the top team in the state, Lake Stevens.
“I think the most memorable moment from high school football was when we beat Lake Stevens in the quarterfinals last year,” Millen said. “Coming into that game they were undefeated and were ranked No. 1 by Seattle Times and other ranking sites. I don’t think anybody gave us a shot coming into that game and at the end of the 3rd quarter, I threw my first interception of the year.”
Millen did not let that turnover get to him, bouncing back on the next drive and showing the true poise under center.
“On the following drive to start the 4th quarter, I threw a double move for a touchdown to put us up by nine which was pretty cool. We ended up winning that game, so just beating them when we were pretty big underdogs was cool.”
Arizona was one of the first teams to recruit Millen out of high school, and the chemistry between him and the coaching staff seemed to be there from the start.
“Arizona offered me four weeks into the season and over the nine months that they recruited me I just developed a long-term relationship with them,” Millen said. “I feel really good about Coach [Kevin] Sumlin and Coach [Noel] Mazzone, and the system they’re running there. Mazzone has had a lot of successful quarterbacks running his system. It just seemed to me that Arizona was the right choice and when it came down to it. I really couldn’t see myself not playing for Arizona.”
Millen is a true competitor on the field, and he wants to make sure Wildcat fans know what to expect from him next year.
“Arizona fans can expect that I’m going to work hard when I get there and do everything I can to help make the team better and win ball games.”
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