Football A Family Affair for Auburn Walk-on

Editor's Note: This is a third in a series of features on Auburn walk-on football players who could play roles for the 2008 Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--Football is a family affair in the Crofoot household and and family connections are what led Clayton Crofoot to Auburn University.

The six-foot-five, 190-pound walk-on is the leading candidate to take over for graduated Matthew Motley as the holder for field goals and extra points. Motley was so good at what he did the kickers had tremendous respect for the former Opelika High athlete, who played a role in Crofoot's decision to walk on to the Auburn team.

"I am friends with Matthew and we were talking one day and he told me they needed someone out here to be the holder and I told him I would give it a shot," Crofoot tells Inside the Auburn Tigers.

"For about a month, Matthew and I worked out for about two days a week. We went through what he thought would be the best way to go about this. He got me in talking to the coaches and Wes Byrum and Robert Shiver also helped me out. We just got some work done."

Byrum, a All-SEC Freshman kicker last season, is expected to handle the field goal and extra point assignment again this year and Robert Shiver, a senior walk-on, is the number one deep snapper.

If Crofoot plays for the Tigers this fall, he will be following in the footsteps of two older brothers, who also competed in the SEC. Chas was a deep snapper for the Tigers and Ike handled the same assignment for the South Carolina Gamecocks. More Crofoots are playing high school football back home in Orlando, Fla.

"I started playing Pop Warner football when I was six," Crofoot remembers. "I played receiver and a little bit of defense all the way through my senior year in high school. I was a holder throughout high school.

"My brother came here and he was also on the team," he adds. "I came here once to visit him and loved it. Auburn was the only school I applied to."

A junior in eligibility, Crofoot joined the team for spring practice this year. "It was something my brothers had done and I thought it would be something that would be cool to do," he says. "I really like the whole team camaraderie type of things."

Crofoot played football, basketball and baseball at The First Academy in Orlando. He was offensive player of the year for the district as a wide receiver and started at center for his basketball team that reached the state final four.

"My two younger brothers are playing football, too," he points out. "My brother who is a senior plays quarterback and the other one is a sophomore and he is a tight end and defensive end."

Back home the Crofoot brothers are pals Shaq O'Neal and hang out with the NBA star. "Shaq lives two houses down," Crofoot notes. "He is a good guy. He has a gym and a pool. I take some guys from school down there and we have a good time. He stops by and checks on us to see how we are doing."

Older brother Chas earned his Auburn degree and is doing well, Clayton notes. "He is working with Johnson & Johnson and really likes it."

Clayton is majoring in business at Auburn and is studying supply chain management. "I like it a lot," he says.

He also says he enjoys being a part of a football team again, even though he is a bit different looking than most of his teammates with a basketball build at six-foot-five, 190 pounds.

"I am probably going to be the tallest holder in the Division I football or least the SEC," he says with a smile. "I don't think it is going to be a problem for me. I am looking forward to getting out there and helping the team."

Crofoot and the rest of the team are doing offseason conditioning workouts this summer in anticipation of the start of preseason drills on August 2nd.

Clinton Durst

Charles Olatunji


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