Griffin Clancy chasing NFL dream despite coronavirus challenges

Saints and Danes

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Griffin Clancy has always been one of the biggest guys on the football field. He wasn’t allowed to play Pop Warner due to weight restrictions. And while that wouldn’t be the case on an NFL roster, the UAlbany product wants a chance to prove that no one’s desire to play the game would tip the scales more than his.

Ever since Clancy stepped on a football field in seventh grade, he’s dreamed of playing in the NFL. Now the Saratoga Springs native is five weeks away from what could be the moment he’s been waiting for, and reality’s sinking in.

“Being a small school lineman, it’s very difficult to make it,” he admits.

He’s right. According to the NCAA, less than one percent of eligible FCS players were drafted in 2018, but Clancy’s betting on himself.

“I would take one shot,” he said. “That’s all I need.”

But first, the offensive lineman needs to be noticed and evaluated. That’s harder these days with the NFL’s heavy travel restrictions, and school’s pro day cancellations. It has created new challenges for prospects and their agents.

Clancy’s agent JR Rickert explained, “If you were one of those guys that didn’t get a pro day and you weren’t at the combine, now you’re getting creative with things like virtual workouts.”

In fact, Clancy had a virtual pro day earlier this week at Test Football Academy in New Jersey before gyms were shut down.

“I’m hoping that my numbers that I produced during the pro day will give teams an idea of okay, he’s athletic, he’s 6’6”, he’s in the 300-pund (range), and he can move,” said Clancy.

It helps that some scouts have already seen the left guard in person during the Spiral Tropical Bowl in January.

“He got a lot of good looks down there,” Rickert, who also represents Albany native Dion Lewis, said. “Had a lot of scouts tell me [Clancy] was one of the best linemen in practices, so that’s always great feedback to hear.”

Just this week, Rickert heard from both the Patriots and Lions, requesting more information on the former Great Dane.

“A guy from UAlbany, we’re getting those kinds of inquiries this early in the process is a great, great sign,” Rickert said.

It is a process, though, and right now without access to much equipment or coaching, Clancy is focused on staying in peak cardiovascular shape. He already feels like he has the right mindset.

“You’re gonna go in and you’re gonna have to try and take somebody’s job,” Clancy said, explaining the reality of training camp. “That guy might have a family, that guy might have kids, and you’re gonna have to take his job.”

He’s hoping his versatility will make him stand out. He’s willing to play any position on the line. He expects because of his weight in the low-300 range, he’ll be moved from a guard to a tackle at the next level. But he even took snaps at center during the all-star game to show he can play anywhere. He has length, size, and as a self-designated “technician”, he could be the full package for a team willing to take a risk.

“I definitely can do this. This has been, again it’s been my dream. It’s gonna be a lot of hard work and still a long road to go, but I think I can do it.”

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