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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Clay Legault, OL, Merrimack College

Clay Legault the mauling offensive lineman from Merrimack College recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams
  • Name: Clay Legault
  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 325 lbs
  • Position: OL
  • College: Merrimack College
  • Twitter: @claytonlegault3

Tell us about your university/college. Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?

Merrimack College is a pretty outgoing Catholic college located in North Andover, MA. The school is a tight knit community that really shows support for everyone no matter where you come from. I got to meet people that came from other countries that I never thought I’d meet in my life and that teaches you different values once you see their perspective of coming to Merrimack. We have some events that we do through the football program that support our local communities and give us a chance to give back such as reading to children at schools or doing fun activities.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

My teammates would say my best quality is perseverance. No matter the situation, I will be the lead example for my teammates and show them the way. Whether we are having a crazy conditioning session that people want to quit or we are down one touchdown with three minutes left on the clock, I will be there to pick up any one of my teammates and show them that if we are all standing together and giving it our absolute ALL, then we can get through anything that is thrown at us.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?

I am the teammate that is willing to take the time to break down a drill or specific technique for a teammate to grasp the concept and be able to do their job efficiently to the best of their ability. I have the ability to play all positions on the offensive line wherever coach needs me to play. The duration of my college career I have played right guard and right tackle. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

Deont’e Harris who played at Assumption. Coach Curran told our punter not to kick it to him, but the ball touched his hands and… Boom! Deont’e Harris returns the punt to the endzone. I don’t think I’ve seen someone who can score with ease like Deont’e. He is currently on the New Orlean Saints and was a Pro Bowl player his rookie season.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

The teammate that impresses me the most is Jovan Grant. He has been a leader since the day he walked onto that field. He plays with tremendous passion and will lay it all on the line for his brothers next to him. He has taught me a lot of the mental game and is one of those people I can sit there and talk to about anything. He has great knowledge and shares it with everyone. Overall he is a great leader, teammate, brother, and football player.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.

One struggle I had to deal with was my sophomore year. I got lazy with academics and thought it would just figure itself out. I got really bad grades and was close to not being able to come back to Merrimack College. Thankfully, my family supported me through this time, I set up meetings with the Deans of business and the school.I met Diane Shaw who was on the appeal board that I had to go through and she helped me tremendously. I told her everything about myself. She understood me, helped me push through with academics and kept me motivated when I wanted to give up. I am very thankful for her, truly. This ended up being a huge wake up call for me. I took three summer courses and got two A’s and a B+, got back on the right track, and used that dark time period as motivation for my future. Fast forward to this previous semester and I got a 4.0 gpa!

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?

I would definitely be wrestling if I was not playing football. Wrestling was my favorite sport for a period of time in High School and appealed to me greatly. I loved the competitive atmosphere and knowing that whether you win or lose is based completely off you as an individual. You can beat anybody if you put in enough heart, dedication, and tons of hard work. I feel that wrestling was a test for me as to how far I can push myself to beat the man across from me. That sport taught me the definition of laying it all on the line which resulted in me winning a state championship.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?

I am most proud of being a part of a team like Merrimack. Without the brotherhood and community we have built, I wouldn’t have any big achievements in the first place. I am most proud of the direction our team is going in, including myself. My biggest achievements would be getting offensive lineman of the year for 2019 at Merrimack and being named team captain for this upcoming season.

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds 2021 Small School Rankings

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.

One of my all-time favorite plays was my Redshirt-Sophomore year when I was playing right guard and Hunter Sallila was at right tackle. We ran outside zone right and both got hip to hip, got vertical, and drove the defensive end so hard into the ground we dislocated his shoulder and our running back just took off right behind us. We didn’t see that kid ever again. Definitely one of my most memorable plays.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?

My favorite player is Isaiah Wynn, the left tackle for the New England Patriots. He is an absolute animal with an insane work ethic. Bill Belichick always says how Wynn is one of the hardest working. I also love how everyone told him he has to play guard wherever he goes, but he showed that everyone was wrong, that his quick feet and technique allowed him to play any position on the offensive line. I would want to model myself around Isaiah Wynn, because if anyone goes down with an injury then I can step in at tackle, guard, or even center. I’ve played all those positions and want to be known as a reliable guy in any situation.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?

My favorite artist would have to be A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. He brings out all different melodies, vibes, and is very down to Earth. I don’t like musicians that bring the same flow or vibe every song. I like a variety and believe it brings out real art in their music. Before a game is a little different. I like harder-going music that can translate to how I’m feeling before a game which is usually ready to tear off a defensive lineman’s head.

What is your favorite comfort food?

This one is easy because every woman in my family makes it flawless, Shepherd’s Pie. Whoever invented that, I got to meet them.

Do you have a favorite movie or actor?

I would say Keanu Reeves is my favorite actor. He is a silent killer, literally. In all of his action movies he carries himself in such a respectable manner, but when it comes time to take care of business the job always gets done. That is a rugged man right there!

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?

One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to go on a hike and enjoy nature. I love nature with a passion. I believe nature has the ability to relax your mind, reduce stress, and just take you to a world of peace. I would say my biggest hobby is weightlifting. I could be in the gym all day and night. I feel like every workout I do gets me one step better and it has almost become an addiction at this point. I always ask myself, “How much better can I get than last week?” and it might be my favorite question, because the answer depends on how you react to the question. I always react the same way though, add more weight on the bar, cut another 0.02 off my forty, go for 2 extra reps, etc. It motivates me tremendously and is not only a hobby, but a passion.

Who or what motivates you the most?

My father motivates me the most by far. He is the most hardworking, supportive, determined, and influential person I know. He would get out of work and rush over to all of my high school football and wrestling practices, and when I say all I mean all. He had a vision for me and knew what I would be capable of as I grew up and pushed me to really discover what my purpose in life is. He has worked hard his whole life to get to where he is and lives with meaning, and that really inspires me to follow in his footsteps. He taught me to give everything I have to what I love, for him it was wrestling in his college days, but for me it’s football and he couldn’t be more proud of me. Seeing how happy and proud he is after a huge win is motivation in itself. I am thankful for my father and those younger days when he would have to drag me to the gym which is ironic because now I can’t leave the gym, I love it so much. My father is my biggest motivation.

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