Clayborn becoming hot commodity in the midwest

Linebacker Adrian Claybornis having to make more choices than he might have thought before this whole recruiting thing came around. Granted, they are good choices to have as Clayborn is becoming a very popular player in the Midwestern region. That's the problem, if you can call it one and now, Clayborn has some more offers, hence more choices.

Webster Grooves, Missouri middle linebacker Adrian Clayborn is learning all sorts of new things that come with being a highly sought after football player.

One of those foremost in his mind is organization. He's learned very quickly that if he doesn't have it, things could quickly become a mess. "It's hard to keep it all straight sometimes," Adrian said of the attention, offers, mailings and calls. "You don't really know what to do other than just try and look at the schools looking at you."

"It's gotten a little crazy at times, though."

It could get crazier for Clayborn as he's eying his senior year as his potential break out year, Adrian finally making the move to the middle. Yes, at 6 foot, 2 inches tall and weighing around 240 pounds, Clayborn was playing outside last season.

He didn't suffer, Clayborn still putting up good numbers, posting almost 80 tackles, half of those being solos, along with one interception and a sack.

With the move to middle, however, Adrian has his eyes towards the sky. "The guy that was playing middle last year had like 130 tackles and that's my goal, but at least to get a hundred," Adrian said. "With the middle, I'll have a lot more freedom to do a lot more things, so I am pretty excited about this season."

With the season will come the added pressure of recruiting, his first day back being the first day coaches from all over the country can call. With offers from ten schools, including the likes of Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas State, Michigan State, Kansas and recently from Texas Tech and Colorado, that's a lot of calls on the horizon.

Too many

"I'm looking to hopefully get this thing narrowed down some before my season starts, because I have heard how crazy it gets," Adrian said. "It's my last year, so I'd like it to be as calm as It can be or as calm as I can get it."

Knocking down his list will do that to a degree, but it won't get rid of the pressure. The pressure that is, for him to stay in-state. That's been probably the most overwhelming thing according to Clayborn as a day doesn't go by, where he's not being coaxed or prodded to stay loyal to the "Show Me" state's local team. "I get it all the time, everyone telling me that I need to go to Missouri," Adrian said. "There is a ton of pressure from everyone to stay close, go to Missouri and all that stuff."

If you are a standout football player, pressure is something that's not foreign, even if it's not necessarily of the kind you regularly see. This pressure for him, though, it's no different than anything else and he uses the same philosophy off the field as he does on it, so things stay in perspective.

"I have to keep my mind on what's important and what is important isn't what fans want, but what I want," Adrian said. "When I look at these schools, Missouri included, I don't look at them as Missouri, Nebraska or whoever; I just look at them and what kind of programs they have."

That's important and as he's gotten probably a lot of information on Missouri over the years, he's trying to get the same on other programs around the region and a couple of teams are candidates to get unofficial visits over the summer.

"I think I am going to take an unofficial up to Illinois and then I am going to call coach Cosgrove (Nebraska defensive coordinator, Kevin Cosgrove) and see about taking an unofficially up there to," Adrian said.

Clayborn admittedly doesn't know a lot about Nebraska, but has done enough research on them to know a little bit about their past. Yes, for Husker fans, there is the comfort in knowing about NU's glory days in the not-so-distant past, but Clayborn took a look at last year as well.

Probably surprising to some, Clayborn didn't just look at the record when trying to analyze Nebraska's 5-6 record, its worst record and first losing season in over 40 years. "They brought in a whole new coaching staff and that was like their first year," Adrian said. "That's a lot of adjustments a team has to make, so that takes time and that could mean early opportunities for players coming in."

Nebraska numbers itself amongst Adrian's favorites, but in reality, everyone that has offered him is a favorite at this time. While acknowledging that he's going to cut down his list, he's just not quite ready to do that as of yet.

He will, though, and hopefully before his final season of prep-ball begins. "I'll be looking at schools pretty hard over the summer so I can figure out what teams fit me the most," Adrian said. "I'll get a chance to talk to coaches, see who I am most comfortable talking with and learn about what kind of majors I might take."

"After that, hopefully I'll have a good idea of the teams I'll make official visits to either during or after my season."

Clayborn currently has a 2.5 GPA and is awaiting results on an ACT retake.

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