I’m about to embark on the sisyphean task of not only talking about a class of 2014 player early in the year 2012, but also one that goes to a private school in Tyler. Some of you may even accuse me of taking to the bottle in some sort of stubborn defiance of Smith County; a county that makes it as hard to get a drink for its inhabitants as Kade Clayton makes it to get rushing yards for opposing ball carriers.
Yes it’s extremely early to be discussing the class of 2014, but with Texas already having the nucleus of their 2013 class in place, things are going to slow down a bit on that front. I hadn’t planned on discussing the rising juniors this premature, but then Kade Clayton’s highlights fell into my lap via his grandfather’s Twitter. Yes, his granfather uses twitter and not only that, was a loyal reader of Recruitocosm and is thinking about signing up for Inside Texas. I’m sure you can see me working, what better way to have people sign up than to write about their grandchildren?
Sir, may I suggest you take the money you’d spend on Kade for Christmas and birthdays and braces, and put it towards reading about him on the internet? Afterall, part of every sub goes to the Jesus Shuttlesworth Adult Braces fund.
My new friend @Horndisciple not only shared the highlights with me, but he also got me in touch with his son, and Kade’s father, Kevin.
[Here are the highlights.]
First, I’m fully aware that Clayton’s competition isn’t exactly the Metroplex. Frankly that doesn’t bother me a whole lot because I can tell the kid has the requesite speed by watching just HIM, there’s no need to watch the other kids on the field for a reference point. Now I’m not saying that Clayton is a 4.3 guy or anything like that, but he’s plenty fast and we’ll get to his track times in short order for illustration.
Clayton looked like a future college safety to me when I first viewed his film the other day, and apparently he looks like a college something to the contributors of the initial LSR 100 because the rankings were released today and he debuted at #25.
As early as this write-up is, those rankings are even earlier, but it’s a useful tool to get a baseline assessment for the class, just as this conversation with Kevin Clayton was useful in getting an idea of Clayton the player.
Eric Nahlin: Well how’s it going, it looks like you have a football player on your hands…
Kevin Clayton: We sure hope so. I tell you what, he loves to play the game.
EN: That’s evident in the way he plays. When I see a kid running around out there like that, I know he loves it. I hear he’s also pretty accomplished in track?
KC: He is, he’s chasing down some (TAPPS) records and he’s getting pretty close.
EN: He runs the 300 meter hurdles and while I know what a good time is for the major events I had to ask a friend of mine what he considered a good time in that event. He said :37 or :38 is a good time. I understand Kade is in that neighborhood.
KC: Yes, he ran :39.55 this past weekend.
EN: Then he’ll definitely be around :37 or :38 when he’s a senior.
KC: We think so, he’s also close to the record in the 110 meter hurdles as well.
EN: That explains the speed I saw on the field. Back to football, are you guys hearing from any schools yet?
KC: We’ve been getting some letters but we’ve heard through one of Kade’s trainers – Bobby Stroupe – that Ole Miss and Texas A&M have interest.
EN: Tell me about his trainer.
KC: We’ve been taking Kade to work with him for a while now at A.P.E.C (Accelerate Performance Enhancement Center). In fact, Kade worked out with a couple of Texas signees at the facility; Kendall Sanders, Dalton Santos and Jalen Overstreet.
EN: Sanders is going to be great.
KC: I think so too, he’s a yard worker I can tell you that. He and Kade worked out in the same grouping.
EN: How about camps, are you guys going to any?
KC: We’re going to the Dallas Nike Sparq in a couple of weeks.
EN: I imagine he’ll test quite well there. I know your dad is a huge Longhorn fan. Are the rest of you, or are you guys pretty open.
KC: Yes, my dad is a HUGE Longhorn fan. If they lose, he gets in a bad mood but he’s pretty good about coming out of it. Pretty much the family is open, though. My mom went to A&M.
EN: I won’t tell anyone that. I hear there’s some size in the family.
KC: My dad is 6’2″, I’m 6’3″ and my brother is 6’5″, so Kade might not be done growing.
EN: No it doesn’t sound like he is. What position are you guys thinking Kade plays?
KC: We think linebacker, but not sure.
EN: Well sir, I appreciate your time. Let’s keep in touch.
KC: We appreciate you talking about him.
EN: They all do, then fifteen schools come calling and phone calls go unanswered as I’m no longer needed.
KC: [laughing] That won’t happen.
EN: It may not, not with your dad reading us. I was going through my head all the off color stuff we’ve written over the years and I cringed a little as I thought about grandparents reading our work.
KC: Not to worry, he had good things to say about you guys.
EN: Again, I appreciate it. Thanks and good luck with the track records.
KC: Thank you.