Keenan Clayton Just Looking For a Chance

Sometimes a team having a crop of National Football League (NFL) talent benefits others besides the ones expected to be high on the draft list from that squad.

And that's what former OU linebacker Keenan Clayton is hoping will happen to give him an opportunity at the next level.

"Some of these scouts might not even be looking at some of the other guys, but [if] something happens here, something happens there, they [may have] caught an eye," Clayton said. "And [if] somebody opens the door for you, and that's all you need is an opportunity for one."

A heavy crop of NFL material such as OU's for the upcoming April draft, including guys like quarterback Sam Bradford, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, tight end Jermaine Gresham and offensive lineman Trent Williams, is exactly the type of talent that can attract scouts to come look and stumble upon players that could be lower round draft picks like Clayton.

"[It's good] because they open doors for the rest of us," Clayton said. "When you got guys [like] Jermaine, G.K., Dom [Franks, Brian Jackson, Adron Tennell], all these guys, you know, and Jermaine and Trent and G.K, they're first round guys, so they're going to bring all the scouts."

So that's where some extra motivation came from for Clayton on OU's pro day recently, the ability to impress given a special opportunity.

As for now, after a motivated performance in front of some major NFL scouts, what are his plans?

"[It's] back to training," Clayton said.

And that's for one reason.

"[I] can't lose a step because somebody somewhere is working just as hard as I'm working today, you know, if not harder," Clayton said. "So, you just got to stay maintaining and keep everything good, stay with the weight, keep everything going good like you need to and just, you know what I'm saying, wait until April and see what happens."

On top of working hard every day, there's one other thing he's doing to get to where he wants to be.

"I'm just going to pray about it," Clayton said. "That's all I can do, pray about it. And it's in the Lord's hands now, so he knows what he wants to happen, and he's got a plan for me, so just pray about it and keep my ears open and see what happens."

One thing Clayton certainly has going for him, though, is his work ethic combined with his versatility.

"You know what I'm saying, my intensity is just as good as most of the [defensive backs], so now it's just like up in the air like, ‘Well, he can play linebacker, and he can play safety,'" Clayton said. "I mean, they've got the tape of me playing linebacker. There's not much film of me playing safety, so I mean it's just kind of a, ‘Do we want to take a chance with this guy at safety when he has no film at safety besides the Stanford game?'"


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