New Orleans, Louisiana 2020-12-10 06:19:00 –
Editor’s Note: This is the twelfth excerpt from Advocate’s new book, LSU BY THE NUMBERS, celebrating the best players (and other greats) wearing each number in the history of Tigers football. This week: No. 14, Michael Clayton.
It was a star-filled class and the 2001 LSU adoption class that paved the way for the 2003 Tigers’ final BCS National Championship.
There were players like Marcus Spears and Marquis who would be big defensive stars.
hill. There were aggressive linemen like Andrew Whitworth and Ben Wilkerson.
But no one in the class could match the star power of Michael Clayton.
Born in Baton Rouge in 1982, Clayton was an all-American consensus preparation from the Christian Life Academy. Together with Southern Lab’s Spears (the tight end that became All-America’s defensive end), it has formed what has been touted as the perfect pair of local talent to sign LSU since 1956 with Billy Cannon and Johnny Robinson.
Nick Saban at the time knew that LSU would be a championship program, so it was important to acquire and retain players like Clayton.
“He came to this program when no one was convinced of what we could accomplish or who we were,” Savan said. “He was a famous man who graduated from high school. As I told him at the time, if a man like you came to school here, I think it would pave the way for other players to succeed in the future. .. “
Clayton’s influence was immediate. He started four games as a freshman in 2001, playing behind the Billetnikov award-winning Josh Reed and Junior Jerell Myers, but second only to Reed, 47 catches at 754 yards and six. I did a touchdown. With a 29-25 win in Kentucky, there was no bigger catch than the 6-yard touchdown reception from Rohan Davie with 13 seconds left.
The following year, Clayton and LSU returned to Kentucky due to SEC schedule quirks. Everyone remembers the Bluegrass Miracle, a 75-yard answered prayer for the pass from Marcus Randall to Devery Henderson. But the play that started at: 02 on the clock probably wouldn’t have happened without Clayton’s 17-yard clutch catch. Then, one play before, his quick time-out signal followed.
Entering 2003, Clayton was clearly the pinnacle of LSU attacks. Sporting News has rated him as SEC’s No. 1 Game Plan Changer.
“He’s a very nice person,” said ESPN analyst Bill Curry.
Clayton has become one of the best receive seasons with 78 catches and 10 touchdowns at 1,079 yards. This is the third 1,000-yard receive season in LSU history. Clayton led the SEC in catch and yard and was second in touchdown. An outstanding downfield blocker, he added his qualifications by tipping in with 14 special team tackles.
Clayton left for the NFL a year early and went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 15th overall choice. This has been the best draft topic for LSU offensive players since Charles Alexander took 12th place in the Cincinnati Bengals in 1979. After the fifth best season (80 catches, 1,193 yards, 7 touchdowns) by the NFL Rookie Receiver, Clayton suffered an injury and played against Bucks from 2004 to 2009 and in the New York Giants from 2010 to 2011. I finished.
To order “LSUBY THE NUMBERS”, please visit www.LSU.PictorialBook.com.
LSU book excerpt: Michael Clayton was a game changer for LSU on the field and in recruiting | LSU Source link LSU book excerpt: Michael Clayton was a game changer for LSU on the field and in recruiting | LSU