Top 10: Clayton is high on college recruiters wish list
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Nov. 27, 2004 - Bob Stoops knows where to look for blue chips.

The Oklahoma head football coach regularly dips below the Red River when it comes recruiting time, and he has already gotten commitments from three of the Texas' top 10 recruits, including Sulphur Springs' Keenan Clayton.

When February rolls around, Clayton is expected to sign a full scholarship to play football at Oklahoma University, where the 6-2, 210-pound senior will likely play safety.

Clayton, the son of Quan Clayton and Penny Clayton, is ranked by Rivals.com as the 10th best player in the state. Rivals.com is widely respected as one of the most in-depth recruiting sites in the nation.

Clayton fulfilled expectations this season when he accumulated a team-high 118 tackles, led the team with four interceptions, and scored 12 touchdowns. He was also regarded as the team's biggest hitter from his free safety position.

"Keenan's probably the best athlete I've ever had the opportunity to coach," Wildcat head coach Brad Turner said earlier this year. "He's got all the tools to be something special at the next level."

He was an All-State kick returner last year and holds the school record for most punt returns for touchdowns in a season and a career. This season, he is expected to be an All-State defensive back.

Clayton made a verbal commitment in July to play for Oklahoma, though he had offers from virtually every school in the Big 12 along with national powers Arizona, LSU and Notre Dame, among others.

According to the national recruiting service, Clayton is the No. 1 defensive back in the state, and is the second-rated Class 4A player in Texas at any position.

When deciding which college to accept, he also made a decision as to what his position would likely be. Several universities had him projected as a running back/wide receiver.

This year, he averaged 6.6 yards per carry (278 yards on 42 carries) and caught 21 passes for 291 yards (13.9 yards per catch) in limited duty on offense.

As a punt returner, he returned four for touchdowns during his varsity career and added a kickoff return for a TD. During the year, he had six other touchdowns of various types called back on penalties or he may have scored over 100 points this season. Instead, he still led the team with 74 points.

Along with Clayton, several other seniors are getting Division I, Division I-AA and Division II looks.

They include:

Rolaundo Wright, 6-4, 190-pound wide receiver who caught 69 passes for 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns this year and is the school's all-time career leader in catches (102), yards (1,550) and TDs (11).

Tremayne Jones, 6-2, 235-pound defensive end who will likely be a linebacker in college. He converted from quarterback this year and finished with 76 tackles, two sacks and nine tackles for losses.

Linebacker Keidric Duffey (5-10, 195), who was in the top three in tackles on the team all three years he was on varsity. He had 92 tackles this season including 3.5 sacks, three blocked punts and a team-high 14 tackles for losses.

Keelan Green, a 5-8, 150-pound wide receiver/kick returner. After placing fourth in the state track meet in the 100-meter dash last spring, Green caught 42 passes for 406 yards and four TDs on the gridiron. He also scored six touchdowns rushing and added two more on a kickoff return and punt return.

Older Archives

Looking for News-Telegram Sports and News Archives for January 2004 - November 2008