The Colorado Buffaloes wrapped up signing day for the 2020 football class on Wednesday. Among those players making a commitment to the Buffs was highly-touted four-star running back Ashaad Clayton. Here are three things you should about know about the blue chip recruit from New Orleans.
Clayton is one of CU’s highest-rated recruits in over a decade
A noticeable momentum shift with Mel Tucker taking over at Colorado is the program working towards better recruits in the southern region of the country. The signing of Clayton, along with Alabama transfer Antonio Alfano, are two prime examples of how Tucker’s staff has taken top-tier talent away from the SEC. How rare is a signing like Clayton for the Buffs? Considering he’s ranked in the top 15 among all recruits since 2000, that’s a great accomplishment for Tucker and the staff.
Clayton turned down several offers including ones from Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Florida to be a part of Tucker’s 2020 class. The 6-foot, 205-pound back from Warren Easton HS (New Orleans, LA.) rushed for 2,264 yards and 32 touchdowns during his senior season for the Fighting Eagles, and that was after tearing his ACL the season prior.
(An odd sidenote: Clayton comes from the same high school as Entertainment mogul Master P, Pro Football Hall of Fame rusher Steve Van Buren and JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.)
No. 24 is special to Clayton and he’ll be the first to wear the number since CU great Byron “Whizzer” White
Much of the talk lately about the number 24 is due to the untimely death of Kobe Bryant. Colorado’s own Byron “Whizzer” White was one of the first-known football players to have the number retired prior to the basketball legend dawning the iconic digits. The University of Colorado announced three retired numbers, including White’s No. 24, would be made available on Wednesday, opening up the opportunity for Clayton to pay homage to his late grandfather.
“I proudly announce that I will be changing my number to 24,” Clayton said via twitter. “To me this means that 24 is closely connected with heaven. My grandfather is in heaven, looking down on me. I’m wearing 24 in honor of my grandfather my guardian angel.”
Clayton is an explosive running back with next-level talent
A unique trait about Ashaad Clayton is his ability to use speed against defenders with a driving leg strength to overpower them. He’s a quick-footed back that doesn’t shy away from contact, but rarely sees any due to his elusive nature. Clayton runs with quick bursts as a downhill threat and often breaks tackles with ease. Add that to a backfield already loaded with Alex Fontenot, Jaren Mangham, Deion Smith and Jarek Broussard.
Clayton comes as a great addition to the Buffs stacked backfield for Darian Hagan to work with. Many are expecting him to be competing in the NFL as early as 2022.