Clifton Brothers Hope To Reunite at AState

Justin Clifton is committed to be a member of the Arkansas State Red Wolves football team next season. He hopes to be joined in Jonesboro a year later by his older brother Antonio.

The younger Clifton, a senior at Tupelo High School, was among the visitors at Arkansas State over the weekend. Along with him came his brother, Antonio Clifton, who just finished his freshman year at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College.

“We just decided for him to come along with me,’’ said Justin Clifton, who has been playing football with his older brother since grade school. “When we were in high school I played linebacker and he was the safety on the same side. The coaches called it Cliftonland, and no one ran in Cliftonland.”

Both of the brothers were impressed with the weekend. Justin (6-foot, 200 pounds) made an unofficial visit during the regular season.

“I was amazed by everything,’’ said Antonio. “The really people know that it is not about just football. They are not going to use you just to play football. They really want you to be something besides just football players and they really express that.”

Antonio Clifton

Justin chose Arkansas State over offers from Southeast Missouri, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech and Southern Miss.

Antonio, who finished third in the long jump at the Mississippi 6A track meet his senior year with a jump of 23 feet, 2 inches, received offers from about every junior college in the state. He settled on Itawamba.

“It is a lot like Arkansas State, the same approach,’’ said the 5-foot-9, 180-pound Antonio. Also a 12-foot pole vaulter, he played strong safety, free safety and some nickel back for the Indians. He is not the only track athlete in the family. Justin triple jumps 46 feet and also runs the 100-meters.

“Our dream would be him at one safety and me at the other. We would be looking to dominate,’’ said Antonio, was third on the Itawamba tackle chart this past season with 46. The older Clinton plans to graduate in December.

“He is a ballhawk and will really hit you,’’’ Justin said of his brother.

Justin Clifton

Justin also had a big year, earning All-Conference and All-State honors in Class 6A and also being named the defensive player of the year in his conference.