Who Is Kaelin Clay?


Kaelin Clay's claim to fame used to be a huge college gaffe.

Now the rookie Ravens returner/wide receiver has made a new name for himself.

Clay scored an 82-yard touchdown on a punt return on Monday Night Football, jumpstarting the Ravens' scoring and getting them out to an early lead in their eventual 33-27 win.

And with that, the question of "Who is Kaelin Clay?" arose for the first time since his blunder.

"I don't think people will ever stop talking about that [college mistake]," Clay said. "It is what it is. I don't really care about it anymore. It's in the past. I'm just extremely happy we got this win today."

Clay was signed by the Ravens on Nov. 17 when the team released Jeremy Ross, who fumbled twice in three weeks on punt returns.

Clay was an electric All-American college returner. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Utah product led the Pac-12 and finished fourth in the nation with an average of 15 yards per punt return. He had three punt returns for touchdowns.

But Clay became a staple on ESPN's "Not Top 10" when he, in a rivalry game against Oregon, celebrated too early and dropped the ball a yard short of the end zone, only to have it returned 99 yards for a touchdown by the Ducks.

Clay was a sixth-round pick who didn't make the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 53-man roster out of training camp. He then landed on the Detroit Lions' practice squad, where the Ravens plucked him.

On his fourth return as a Raven, the speester's acceleration and elusiveness were on full display. Clay sidestepped the first tackler, then split another two before racing up the right sideline. He was way too fast for anyone to catch and cruised into the end zone.

"I knew I was going to have room to catch the ball," Clay said. "I've been studying this punter for a while. You've just got to get it and go. It's basically off instincts. I had great blocks, set my blockers up, and the rest is history."

The 82-yard scamper was the Ravens' first punt return for a touchdown since 2013. It tied that return by Tandon Doss for the fifth-longest in team history.

When Clay arrived in Baltimore, he made a promise to hold onto the ball all the way into the end zone. And on Monday night, he did just that. He held onto the ball all the way through his quick "Dab" celebration.

Clay said his college mistake was on his mind as he went into the end zone.

"It was. It really was," he said. "The main thing I wanted to do was cross that goal line with the football. I did that and we had six points on the board."

Check out the best photos from FirstEnergy Stadium as the Ravens battle the Browns.

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