Texas A&M tight end, Cameron Clear, certainly looks the part of a professional football player, as his 6-foot-5, 277-pound frame speaks for itself. Despite his massive frame, there exist some questions concerning his character, and what goes on in his mind, or to be more precise, what makes Clear tick.
Due to his imposing size, Clear was highly-recruited out of high school as a 4-star, according to Rivals.com. But like many others, he found himself on the JUCO circuit, where he landed at Arizona Western Community College. It’s fitting that he played there, as another questionable prospect, Dallas Cowboys’ Randy Gregory, also played there. Eventually, Clear signed on to play for the Tennessee Volunteers, coached by Derek Dooley. Heading into the 2012 season, he was projected to be near, or atop, the depth chart at tight end, but it was not meant to be.
After several thefts occurred on the Knoxville campus, including laptops and high-priced items, Clear was arrested in connection with them. He was subsequently charged with felony theft of between $1,000 and $9,999 and suspended indefinitely from the Tennessee program. After Vols’ baseball player, Jeffery Zajac, reported his MacBook Pro was taken from his dorm room, campus police used signals to trace the laptop, which was being used in Neyland Stadium. When officers arrived, according to the police report, Clear immediately closed it, and the serial numbers all matched the stolen one.
The charges were eventually reduced to a misdemeanor theft, but Tennessee washed its’ hands of Clear, so he transferred to Texas A&M in 2013, where at the time, the circus known as “Manziel-Mania” was in town, of course led by Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel.
Clear’s first year, he played in all 13 games, snaring 4 passes for 42 yards and one touchdown. Last season, he dealt with an ankle sprain, which may or may not have limited him, but he finished the year with only 5 catches for 34 yards.
Gaining an invite to the NFL Combine, Clear posted decent, not spectacular numbers, but he bested them at the Aggies’ Pro Day, where he ran a 4.92 in the 40, in addition to a 32.5-inch vertical jump. According to scouts, he has the frame to pack on 300 or more pounds, thus indicating perhaps a move to offensive tackle.
Clear is definitely the definition of a project, but that’s not entirely a bad thing, as he brings to mind another prospect who was taken from the scrap heap as an undrafted free agent and molded into a 7-time Pro Bowler at left tackle, in the form of the Eagles’ Jason Peters.
Like Clear, Peters was a jumbo tight end at Arkansas, and he weighed in at the 2004 NFL Combine at a robust 328 pounds, so the move to the offensive line looked far more likely than Clear.
That’s the great thing about undrafted free agents though, it doesn’t require the waste of a draft pick. Size is one thing coaches clearly can’t teach, and the Steelers showed interest in Clear right off the bat, as I recall he was one of the first names they had scheduled for a pre-draft visit.
Obviously, they’ve done their homework on him and his troubles, and with a locker room full of leadership figures, Clear could be taken under their wing and molded into a quality pro. And if he decides to steal another laptop, well then you just feel bad for him, because with James Harrison in that locker room, a theft charge would be the least of his worries.