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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Harvey Clayton Jr., S, Duquesne

Harvey Clayton Jr. is a big physical safety that played at Duquesne University who is currently in the transfer portal. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Harvey Clayton Jr.
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 205
  • Position: Safety
  • College: Duquesne University
  • Twitter: @CINCO_TMT
  • Instagram: hbkharv

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I began college football at Illinois. After a couple years, I transferred to Duquesne. I just graduated this May of 2021 with a Communications degree. I am currently in the transfer portal waiting for another opportunity to play.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My best quality is my ability to communicate on the field and be the QB of the defense. Getting everyone on the same page is the most important thing out there. So, when I’m able to read what offenses are trying to do before they happen, I relay that to my teammates.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I’ve been a leader on the football field ever since I was a kid. I’m always looking to set the tone of the field. I’m an all-around safety with good size and versatility that can be moved around. I can play in the box or as a single high safety. I’ve also played corner in a few games. I can plug in wherever I’m needed. I’ve also had my fair share of special teams experience. That’s what I mainly did at Illinois and it carried over to Duquesne. I like being able to make tackles on special teams in order to set up good situations for our defense.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
Playing in the Big Ten, I was able to regularly see some of the best talent in the country. Facing Ohio State WRs in Terry McLaurin, KJ Hill and Parris Cambell was a good challenge.

While at Duquesne, one of the best players that I was able to face is RB Julius Chestnut from Sacred Heart. He was unstoppable this past season and ended up being an All-American.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
AJ Hines was a great RB at Duquesne. He holds a lot of team records. Nehari Crawford was a great receiver to practice against. He had good speed and great hands. Our QB Joe Mischler is a player that impressed me right away. He reads his progressions very well and is a good leader for the football team.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
I’ve gone through a lot of changes in my life. Back in high school, I went through 3 coaches in 4 years. I got recruited to play at Illinois, and on my way in the entire coaching staff got fired. So, that put me in an awkward position out of the gate. The new coaching staff wasn’t the one that recruited me, and it seemed like I wasn’t really wanted. It was out of my control, and I felt the need to move on and find a better opportunity where I can get on the field and have a chance to play.

I talked to a lot of different coaches and eventually settled on Duquesne. It was like starting from scratch again having to meet new friends and learn new terminology. Yet, midway through the 2018 season, I finally got into my groove. I started every game of the 2019 season.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Basketball. I like to play in my spare time. There’s an art to the sport. It’s amazing how one person can take over a game where you don’t really see that in football these days.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement is staying on track and graduating from college.

Describe one of the most memorable moments of your collegiate career.
My first start at Duquesne in 2018 was special. The previous week we had a player that was suspended for targeting. That opened up the opportunity for me to start against St. Francis. I ended up with 9 tackles and an interception. I would have had 3 interceptions but two of those were called out.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite professional team is the Miami Heat. My favorite athlete of all-time is Sean Taylor. The level of intensity that he played with is unmatched.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite music artist is Lil Baby. Some of the guys in my playlist on gameday include Rylo Rodriguez, Lil Durk, Future and Kodak Black.

What is your favorite comfort food?
I love chicken and rice. The Chicken Kitchen is a great restaurant. I probably go there about 4-5 times a week.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite TV is Martin. One of my favorite movies is Blue Streak.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my spare time, I like getting up to watch the sunrise before I go for my workouts. I also like to be on the water whether it’s fishing, jet skiing, snorkeling or canoeing.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I’m passionate about football. I’ve been a diehard fan my whole life. I love to compete with my teammates and have a bond like family. I’m also motivated by my family who have been able to play in the NFL. My dad played in the league for five years. I’m also cousins with Antrel Rolle and Torrance Marshall. I know that if they were able to get to the NFL that I can get there as well.

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