LSU Football Flashback: Michael Clayton (VIDEO)
When people write down a list of the top receivers in LSU football history, it probably doesn’t take them long to get to Michael Clayton.
A native of Baton Rouge, Clayton attended Christian Life Academy, before heading to LSU, where he put up some impressive numbers over a three-year period, from 2001-2003.
As a freshman in 2001, Clayton caught 47 passes, second on the team to Josh Reed’s 94 receptions, for 754 yards and six touchdowns, helping the Tigers to a 10-3 record, including a 47-34 victory over Illinois in the Sugar Bowl.
In 2002, as a sophomore, Clayton led the team with 57 catches for 749 yards and five touchdowns, while helping LSU to an 8-5 finish and a berth in the Cotton Bowl.
2003 was special for LSU, and special for Clayton. The Tigers went 13-1 and won the BCS National Championship, defeating Oklahoma, 21-14, in the title game, and Clayton was a major contributor, leading the team in receptions, with 78, receiving yards, with 1,079, and touchdown receptions, with ten. His catches and receiving yards also led the SEC.
During his three years with LSU, Clayton compiled 182 receptions for 2,582 yards and 21 touchdowns.
He finished his career second in career receptions, fourth in career receiving yards, and became the first LSU player in history to have at least 700 yards receiving in three straight seasons.
In 2004, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made Clayton the 15th-overall selection of the NFL Draft, and he quickly made his presence felt, totaling 80 receptions for 1,193 yards and seven touchdowns.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Clayton went on to play five more seasons for the Bucs, compiling 221 catches for 2,936 yards and ten touchdowns from 2004-2009.
Following his stint in Tampa Bay, Clayton played briefly for the New York Giants in both 2010 and 2011, catching two passes for 19 yards, giving him 223 catches for 2,955 yards and ten touchdowns over his 8-year NFL career.