Copyright ©2012 The Associated Press. Produced by NewsOK.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
And after a weekend that put the Sooners in the middle of the national championship chase, no player is more important to their hopes than Clayton. After several disappointments over the past couple of seasons, he has emerged as a defensive mainstay. Clayton has labored long to reach this point. It’s a lesson learned from his father, Quon. “I’m never satisfied,” Clayton said after OU throttled Nebraska, “and I know he’s never satisfied.” There was little to criticize Saturday. Clayton led the Sooners with seven solo tackles against the Cornhuskers. He also helped fuel the rout, forcing a fumble that led to OU’s third of four touchdowns in the game’s first six minutes. “It seems like every day he’s more comfortable,” his father said. “He’s having to work at that job. That’s what it is — a job — and if you don’t do it, somebody else will.” If anyone knows about doing a job, it’s Quon Clayton. He has been working at the Sulphur Springs Livestock and Dairy Auction in the East Texas town for decades. The weekly auctions are central to that area’s thriving dairy industry. Sales regularly draw several thousand head of cattle, but the calf sale is one of the biggest. With as many as 5,000 or 6,000 calves for sale, the livestock must be hauled in throughout the week. As the calf sale approached a couple summers back, the Claytons were talking about Keenan’s future. He was among the top recruits in the country, but he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. Keenan: “If I don’t want to go to school and I want to work, that’s what I’m going to do.” Quon: “Well, I’m going to take you to work with me for a week and see what you’d rather do.” Keenan figured he’d be working along side his dad, who helped oversee the livestock. Instead, Quon put him in an entry-level job. He wanted Keenan to know what it would be like starting out, being the new guy, doing the grunt work. The Claytons woke up before 5 a.m. and arrived at work before 6. There were calves to be watered and fed, sorted and weighed. “We worked hard that week,” Quon said. Wearing jeans and boots in the East Texas heat, Keenan spent hours in the sorting chute. Calves were separated by size, and after they were weighed, someone would call out which pen the calves belonged in. He had to find the proper gate, letting in the new calf while keeping in any calves already in the pen.
Carlson: How an OU linebacker chose football over working cattle
NORMAN — Keenan Clayton knows what it means to work hard.He wants no part of it, either. That’s why he plays football. Now, don’t jump to conclusions about the Oklahoma linebacker. He’s no slacker. He’s no slouch. Truth is, coaches rave about his work ethic, and teammates respect him for that drive.
Videoview all videos
Nov 3Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson review a wild night in...
Nov 2Dave Morris, Berry Tramel and Jake Trotter talk OU...
Nov 3Demarco Murray scored three touchdowns, as the Sooners...
Photoview all 62 photos
NewsOK Related Articles
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 21368Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash
- 17546Oklahoma City Thunder: Amnesty Kendrick Perkins?
- 12345Rockets guard Patrick Beverley bombarded with hateful Tweets after Thunder get eliminated
- 9430Report: OSU blocking Wes Lunt from transferring to the SEC, Big 12 and Southern Miss
- 9175Oklahoma State football: Todd Monken thinks Wes Lunt should've stayed in Stillwater
- 9080Oklahoma football: Sooners get pair of commitments
- 8212Tulsa man tells police he smashed woman's head in self-defense