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2022 PFN Player Spot Light-Nolan Clayton-Upper Merion

Written by: on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

 

 

Pic via Kim Supko

Nolan Clayton
Upper Merion
class of 2023
Jersey 19
#6’5”230
Other Sports: Baseball
Twitter @NolanClayton4
2nd Team All Mercury
Offer Sheet: Yale, Army, Dartmouth, Columbia


 How was it making the move from quarterback to tight end?

At first, it wasn’t fun. I loved playing quarterback. But right away I knew I wasn’t a quarterback anymore. It was best for the team. So I got to work. As a quarterback, I already knew everything the TEs had to do, so the mental part was easy. Figuring out blocking was a little hard. I haven’t hit a sled since I was 8 years old, halfway through the season. But after a week or two, I was rolling and fell in love. There is no better position. You get to bully the team’s best linemen and linebackers. Then burn their best DBs for 6 points.

Have you been to any kicking camps to try and improve as a punter?

I haven’t been to any camps for punting, but this year we plan on taking special teams very seriously. We have lost a few big games over the past few seasons due to special teams, and it is time to cut that out. Our special teams, especially punts, will improve drastically this season!

Upper Merion has endured three losing seasons in a row. What will it take for this senior class to end that streak? What goals have you set for yourself as well as team goals?

Hearing that is a little embarrassing. Since I’ve been here, we’ve made the playoffs two out of three years, but got knocked out each time in the first round. That’s not fun. No one likes that. With that being said, our team, coaches, and players, came together and realized it starts in January. And that’s when we started working. We’ve been all gas, no breaks. We’re ahead of the game. This season we aren’t letting up. Our mentality is to score a touchdown every single play. Offense. Defense. and special teams. We will score touchdowns. We will accept nothing less than a championship. Our goal is to play and win until there are no more games to be won.

How important will it be for you to be invited to play in one or two of the all-star games after the season is over?

All-Star games don’t mean anything to me. Neither do any awards. All I care about is winning football games and doing whatever I can to make that happen as a teammate and leader of this team. By doing that, everything else will come. But I’m only focused on winning football games.

In watching your highlights, you seem to be able to go deep as a tight end and you seem to always catch the ball at its highest point. Other than your height is a big advantage over most of the guys trying to cover you. What are some of the other strengths that make you such a dangerous player?

I pride myself on my football knowledge. I played quarterback my whole life, so I know how to pick apart a defense. I know where the holes are in different zones and coverages. I know the team’s weakest players and where to attack. I know I’m going to be bigger than most guys out there. I just make sure I’m smarter too.

Which is more thrilling: getting that pancake block or making the big catch?

There is no better feeling than putting a linebacker or defensive end on their backs and then smiling at them while they are laying there. My favorite plays last year were mainly blocks. A big catch is great and all, but a pancake with your back bouncing for big yards is an amazing feeling.

When the game is on the line, why should the coach call your number?

I have a dog mentality. Every time I step on the field, I know that not one person on any defense is better than I am. I will always bet on myself to come out on top, and I know all my boys can help make that happen. I’ll be open even if it doesn’t look like it. And my guy 5 is going to give me the chance to make a play. Coach Chubb knows that.

As far as road games go, which stadium is the hardest to play at?

I’d say PJP. Not because of their fans or crowd. I’ve never even noticed them. It’s because when we play them, it’s on a Saturday afternoon and their grass field is awful.

What is your favorite TV show?

My favorite TV is Blue Mountain State. Nothing better.

What is one food you like that most others do not?

I’d say McDonald’s. It’s not that it’s unliked, it’s just I eat it to the point where if anyone tries to eat it as much as me, they would be over it in a month. I probably eat it a minimum of 4 times a week.

 

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