Thomas Clayton Update

Thomas Clayton of Virginia is one of the best high school running backs in the nation. He talks about his official visit to Penn State last weekend, and which team leads "by a hair".

Name: Thomas Clayton
Position: RB
Height: 5'11 ½"
Weight: 199 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.32 seconds
School: Mount Vernon High, Alexandria, Virginia

Thomas Clayton took an official visit to Penn State this past homecoming weekend.

"That was pretty cool.  It was cool.

"I went with my dad and mom.  I went to the game, chilled out with the players a little bit, and spent a lot of time with JoePa.  Michael Robinson and Tony Johnson showed me around.  They're pretty cool guys.  Actually, Mike Robinson, he's a redshirt quarterback, he's from Virginia.  I spent some time with Eric McCoo and Larry Johnson, two running backs, and met Zack Mills, the quarterback.  That was cool.

"I spent some time with him {Joe Paterno} in his office, and we went to breakfast on Monday.  Actually, I got him to autograph something for my coach.

"They told me the same thing as everyone else.  They told me that I'm capable of playing as a true freshman.  They think that socially, I'd be able to fit in, and mentally, they think I'm ready to be able to play.  As far as their depth, if I go there, I would have no choice but to be ready to play.  The only one there who's played at the running back position would be Larry Johnson."

How did this visit compare to the official visit Thomas took to Notre Dame a month ago?

"They're different, they definitely were different.  They're about the same as far as their team goes, how they treat the players, and how school is and all, but atmosphere-wise they're pretty different.  They're both very high on academics.  Atmosphere-wise, I think there's a heck of a lot more people at Penn State than at Notre Dame.  I don't think it really makes much of a difference, but it's different from Notre Dame seeing how they didn't have as many.  That's pretty much it as far as differences go.

"I figure I'll take the rest of my officials and from there I'll make a choice."

Thomas will visit Syracuse (11/24), North Carolina (2nd week of December) and either Florida State or Nebraska.  He no longer believes he will visit Northwestern officially.

Thomas reportedly favored Notre Dame following his official visit to South Bend early last month.

"Nothing's really changed.  I'll make my decision well before signing day.  Everything's still the same as it was before.  I enjoyed myself at Penn State and all, but right now, I would just rather keep everything the same.  They're neck and neck, but Notre Dame has them by a hair."

Of course, nothing has been decided yet.

"I like the situation, there's still a possibility that I could go there."

According to Thomas, a coaching change at Notre Dame does not really concern him.

"I'm not sure that would really make much of a difference, because it's still Notre Dame.  It's a school."

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