Claytor leaving Tech for NFL

Nick Claytor (75) is a native of Gainesville. JASON GETZ, AJC

Nick Claytor (75) is a native of Gainesville. JASON GETZ, AJC

Georgia Tech offensive lineman Nick Claytor will skip his senior season because he has opted to enter the NFL draft.

Underclassmen must declare to the NFL by Jan. 15.

Claytor, a 6-foot, 6-inch, 285-pound tackle, started 15 games in his career. The Yellow Jackets led FBS (formerly Division I-A) in rushing in the 2010 season, averaging 323.3 yards per game. He didn’t return an e-mail.

Coach Paul Johnson said last week that he didn’t think any players were leaving school early. He said that a few juniors had asked to be evaluated by the NFL’s draft advisory panel, but didn’t think any of them would be leaving yet to play professionally. Claytor said that he was planning to return to school for his final season during preparations for the Independence Bowl. He is 10 hours shy of completing his management degree.

Claytor’s decision means Tech will enter the 2011 season without three regulars on the offensive line: Claytor, starting center Sean Bedford and tackle and part-time starter Austin Barrick, both of whom have used up their eligibility. Phil Smith will be the only player returning with considerable experience at tackle.

Claytor’s decision is curious. He wasn’t included in ESPN personality Mel Kiper’s list of top-five underclassmen at the tackle position that he posted on Nov. 17. He has yet to be added to the ESPN player database pool for the draft as of Wednesday afternoon. However, he is one of two underclassmen at the tackle position who have declared as of Wednesday morning. The other is Tyron Smith of USC. Those exclusions don’t mean that Claytor won’t play in the NFL. Former Tech guard Cord Howard went undrafted after his senior season last year, but signed with Buffalo as a free agent and started four games.

A native of Gainesville, Claytor was one of the nation’s top-rated recruits in high school. He enrolled and redshirted his freshman season at Tech in 2007 under former coach Chan Gailey.

Tech has had five players, including Claytor, become early entrants in the draft in the past two years: Derrick Morgan, Demaryius Thomas, Morgan Burnett and Jonathan Dwyer are the others. Morgan and Thomas were selected in the first round, Burnett the third and Dwyer the sixth.

– Doug Roberson, AJC

108 comments Add your comment

Cowpen U

January 12th, 2011
4:26 pm

Cowpen U

January 12th, 2011
4:27 pm

So then what will we do with the NickClaytor4Heisman.com campaign????

ben

January 12th, 2011
4:31 pm

Let me guess, he’ll get a tryout with Buffalo

wxwax

January 12th, 2011
4:35 pm

Look, the man needs to feed his family, OK?

ga tech 92

January 12th, 2011
4:38 pm

Good luck Nick…Go Jackets! (FIRE PAUL HEWITT)

Big G

January 12th, 2011
4:38 pm

He never lived up to his potential. He had all the physical tools, but no heart. I wish him well if he makes it!

George Stein

January 12th, 2011
4:40 pm

I thought the same thing, ben. The problem for him will be if he doesn’t get drafted because with the lockout looming, he won’t be able to be signed as a free agend until there is labor peace.

Duluth Dawg

January 12th, 2011
4:45 pm

The only draft Claytor will make is the U.S. Army. You Techies gave Georgia grief for not offering Claytor. As I recall, he was a 4-5 star player and he has not lived up to the hype. Now, is this CPJ’s fault or Claytor’s. Remember now, when UGA’s 4-5-star players don’t pan out, you Techies blame the UGA coaches. Keep it real.

Tech Stinks

January 12th, 2011
4:52 pm

Too bad, no degree, little chance of making it in the NFL this year….He would have been well advised to take out the max student loans for his family, and stay another year. Both a degree, and a better chance of making it in the nfl would be the result. Good luck Nick.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jimstem. jimstem said: RT @ajcgatech: Claytor leaving Tech for NFL http://bit.ly/eSSu7N [...]

Jacket

January 12th, 2011
4:56 pm

I am sorry…..

Are some of you suggesting that Tech Football players get degrees???

That was funny.

5150 P.O.A.D.

January 12th, 2011
5:09 pm

He is 1 semester from graduating. I have no fear he will not finish his degree. He could take 1 or 2 classes this semester and still workout in Atl for the combine. If there is a lockout he could finish this degree after the summer. Nick did OK but he never really worked as hard as we expected him to. TJ Barnes has been the same. Not working as hard a s expected.

William Satterwhite

January 12th, 2011
5:13 pm

When you think about it, it kind of makes sense. Claytor is probably one of the the last Gailey recruited offensive linemen remaining and probably figures he has nothing to gain from sticking around one more year and possibly losing time to more of Johnson’s own recruits.

Ramblin Man

January 12th, 2011
5:15 pm

Not sure what he is thinking but I wish him luck. I was hoping he would finally play to potentiol in 11 and hate that for the second year in a row the offensive line will be looking for two or three new starters. Could be the opening GT needs to push Errin Joe to commit though.

Take off your pants and yellow jacket

January 12th, 2011
5:28 pm

I am curious…..

Are Tech fans still giddy about their moral victory for rushing for so many yards against UGA, and “outsmarting” Richt by quitting, or has reality set in that you LOST THE GAME yet??

Just wondering, since it has been a month and a half now, and Tech fans still seem to think they are better than a team (UGA) that beat them head to head…..

Born2Buzz

January 12th, 2011
5:47 pm

He’ll be fine. He can get his degree in the spring and summer semesters, get drafted in the 6th round and have a good solid career. Nick tried hard and he battled injuries. I don’t blame him for taking his chance as soon as possible.

RogersParkRob

January 12th, 2011
5:56 pm

Gani Lawal Part 2

RogersParkRob

January 12th, 2011
5:57 pm

Enter your comments here

George Stein

January 12th, 2011
5:57 pm

Why are you demanding that folks take off our pants? I think that’s probably the more pertinent question.

Horrible decision..

January 12th, 2011
6:02 pm

I am pretty sure he hated tech and obviously his mom did too. I wish him the best though..

Take off your pants and yellow jacket

January 12th, 2011
6:05 pm

So when a UGA player leaves early, he is an “ignorant thug”, but when a Techie player leaves early, he will “without a doubt come back to get his degree”….

And when a UGA player does not live up to their potential, it’s the coaching at UGA, but when a Techie player doesn’t live up to their potential, he “did his best and made us proud”…..

There is NO OTHER FANBASE in the history of sports more delusional than the Techies.

Wise Owl

January 12th, 2011
6:08 pm

wait a gosh darn second here…….

“Claytor is 10 hours away from completing his degree in……. MANAGEMENT?!?!?!?!?”

I thought all Tech student athletes studied to be Engineers. Isn;t that your excuse for not being able to recruit the “rift raft” you don’t think is already on your team??

Interesting….

White and Gold

January 12th, 2011
6:09 pm

Good luck Nick, thanks for the memories! THWG.

macrotech

January 12th, 2011
6:23 pm

“Take off your pants and yellow jacket”, you got that entire ‘giddy over a moral victory’ from a local columnist that graduated from uga…those were HIS words, not ours. The difference between a Tech player leaving early and a pup player leaving early is that, statistically speaking, ours don’t have a rap sheet to include on the resume. What I WAS giddy about, was watching those proud pups get beat by UCF in the Liberty Bowl after all their fans barking over our bowl loss to AFA…I was there and it was funny watching all dog fans leaving the stadium….it was like a red sea of WTF!

Wise Owl…there is a HUGE difference between Calculus and classes that have questions on their final exams like, “How many points do you get when you make a 3-point basket”… VERY Interesting….

macrotech

January 12th, 2011
6:24 pm

By the way….kind of creepy having a blog poster asking other’s to “Take off your pants and yellow jacket”

collegeballfan

January 12th, 2011
6:40 pm

This reminds me of the O’Leary story on one of the DL he inherited. One of the asst coaches came into O’Leary’s office and said Soandso is going into the draft. O’Leary looked the coach in the eye and said ” I thought we had an all volunteer Army?”

Big Ed

January 12th, 2011
6:41 pm

Claytor is making a big mistake. He hasn’t played enough due to injuries to warrant a good look by the NFL. If he is drafted, which I don’t think will happen it will be in the late rounds. He will get hurt early and be done before he can make a team.

I'm just saying

January 12th, 2011
6:49 pm

Wise Owl…how much is a three point shot worth. Know this and at ugump you pass a class.

Wise Owl

January 12th, 2011
7:01 pm

You Techies prove my point…..

Whenever anybody calls out the TRUTH about your student athletes, you simply panic and bring up something about UGA academics.

The most insecure fanbase in all the land.

threetrone

January 12th, 2011
7:06 pm

imagine the wisdom of CPJ to discontinue these white uniforms with old gold stripes in favor of white uniforms with black stripes worn this year

WrexNEffex

January 12th, 2011
7:14 pm

re:
Big Ed
January 12th, 2011
6:41 pm
__________________________
The reason he is going pro is because of CPJ and gimmicky Triple-SLOPtion Offense.

As an OT, playing for a HC that only avg. 14 passes per game with Nesbitt probably won’t pass more next season either.

This is WHY CPJ will cause GT FB to erode the longer he stays and brings his Recruits in to GT.

Any decent SA that has to practice in 100-deg. heat for two-a-days at the BCS-Level will have NFL aspirations.

This particular SA knows that staying in College one more yr. under CPJ won’t generate anything more on Film for an NFL Scout to see, so it is my GUESS that this SA figured it was probably better to go ahead and go Pro, and try to get in shape for the Combine or Private Workouts and take a shot at being a late round draft choice or Invited FA for the 85-man roster for some NFL Team.

I’m wondering are any of the incoming O-Line Recruits thinking the same thing about CPJ’s System when they see someone playing their position go Pro in this manner.

What this tells me is that the guys that CPJ is bringing in probably don’t have NFL aspirations and are probably not that Talented to begin with regardless for how many stars they do or don’t have.

Thanks to CPJ’s system, we’ll NEVER get NFL-type talent at QB, WR, A-Back, OT, and TE, that puts GT at a MUCH BIGGER DISADVANTAGE than the “so-called academics card” that too many of the GT Alums/fans like to play whenever GT FB comes up short.

GT Alum

January 12th, 2011
7:16 pm

Wise Owl, I don’t think anyone claimed all Tech athletes are engineers. In fact, Bedford gets a lot of Tech fans’ respect because he’s an engineering student who walked on and has been a solid player for us.

What we do say is Tech doesn’t have the easy majors that a lot of schools do. Our management program is well respected (top 50 among undergrad programs, top 20 among public schools).

UGA? R U Kidding

January 12th, 2011
7:18 pm

UGA Football….30 years and counting.

Delbert D.

January 12th, 2011
7:19 pm

I’ve never liked the mustard uniforms or helmets. Gold is available. Notre Dame still paints their helmets every week.

just saying

January 12th, 2011
7:20 pm

I was an Industrial Mgt major and you still have to take the Engineering Calculus and Science, doesn’t matter what your major is..

I didn’t realize Claytor had a chance of getting drafted although I would have thought he would have in one more year. Oh well, the up side, I do not have to see his “lil bro” on the Tron with Nick again.

If a player isn’t drafted, can they come back? Or can they come back and play for someone else? Because Curry and Monken will be all over it.

saban

January 12th, 2011
7:22 pm

Good luck to the young man. Tough age.

All your Georgia fans understand why I am getting Georgia recruits to come to Alabama.

Choakdawg and Richt won`t be around long.

Imagine Richt will hit them with his purse when they come here to win national championships. ginopurseu

just saying

January 12th, 2011
7:23 pm

Doug, will you keep us up to date on Nesbitt’s injury? If the cast is off and is he working out again? Thanks

Rick

January 12th, 2011
7:31 pm

This is stupid. There will be no season next year. He won’t be drafted until the late 2nd or 3rd round. No money for a year. While he could have been going to school for free, bumping up his skills and getting his degree. You can’t educate stupid I guess.

Wise Owl

January 12th, 2011
7:31 pm

just saying……

Last i heard, Nesbitt didn’t need to work out. He is just that good. He said he was going to leave the cast on for a while longer because he could get his girlfriend to do more chores while he was crippled.

After coming up as the Heisman runner up last season, the Carolina Panthers have publicly announced they will be taking Nesbitt #1 overall, since Andrew Luck will stay in school.

The Panthers have been very adamant about the need to install a Triple Option attack in the NFL. They figure they will catch all the other teams off guard with “genius play calling”. They have also been very vocal about how the forward pass was not only overrated, but extremely unnecessary to succeed in the game of football.

Visit http://www.nesbitt4heisman.com for further information.

footballfan

January 12th, 2011
7:37 pm

Wise Owl: Two questions please, and i am being serious. Who called Tech rushing for more yards against Georgia a moral victory? Also, since I am not from here and don ‘t really know the academic differences between the two schools,what is wrong with a management degree from Georgia Tech? I thought that degrees were for entire student body, not just athletes.? Just curious.

its all the same

January 12th, 2011
7:47 pm

if GT is the most insecure fan base, then why are you on the GT blog

WrexNEffex

January 12th, 2011
8:00 pm

Why am I such a complete loser?

Why can’t I put together a coherent sentence?

Why don’t girls like me?

WrexNEffex

January 12th, 2011
8:01 pm

Why do I capitalize talented for no reason?

Is what it is

January 12th, 2011
8:02 pm

UGA fans are on the GT blog for the same reason GT fans are on a UGA blog….

IT”S A RIVALRY BETWEEN TWO TEAMS WHO HATE EACH OTHER, you moron.

And news flash to Tech fans…. there is a lot of smack talk in college football. For a program that prides itself so much on hating UGA (TWHG written EVERYWHERE), you guys sure do take it personally when the hatred is returned in your direction.

THWGT <—— see how dumb that looks??

Wise Owl

January 12th, 2011
8:07 pm

Nice try football fan……..

what you want to see my type is, “well, um, I mean, um, nobody ACTUALLY called it a moral victory”, and then you want me to describe to you how Tech is an engineering school and UGA is a liberal arts college with a much wider curriculum.

Sorry you were not able to fool me. But you heard it anyway.

42-34

Fire Paul Johnson

January 12th, 2011
8:07 pm

Oh I know Wrex. We are total losers. But we have nothing else to do after mom lets us leave the dinner table. Wanna play some video games later?

Wise Owl

January 12th, 2011
8:09 pm

I’m not very wise but it is an engineering school.

Wise Owl

January 12th, 2011
8:10 pm

Why do I use ellipses all the time…………….

Wise Owl

January 12th, 2011
8:11 pm

No one fools me……. well may be a few people………

NYJacket

January 12th, 2011
8:13 pm

Jacket

January 12th, 2011
4:56 pm
I am sorry…..

Are some of you suggesting that Tech Football players get degrees???

That was funny.

Jacket, yes Tech football players earn degrees and many go on to earn additional degrees. And, they represent Georgia Tech very well in the business world, legal, education and military professions. Are you a UGA fan?