August 3, 2010

Clayborn staying focused

Adrian Clayborn says he is only focused on one thing this season and it is not All-American honors, individual trophies, or NFL Draft projections. For Clayborn, what will define his senior year is how successful his team is and how he can help put them in the best position to win each week. The big defensive end talks about coming back for his senior year, what he has been working on this summer, dealing with high expectations, and much more. Read every word right here.

Q: There's a lot of excitement about the rematch with Ohio State this year and possibly the Big Ten title on the line again. Is it hard not to look ahead to that game?

CLAYBORN: I think if you look back at last season and look at our first game, there's no way we can look at Ohio State. We can't even look at Iowa State. We've got to look at Eastern Illinois because they can easily drop us like Northern Iowa almost dropped us last year. So there's no looking past any team. If you do, that's how you get beat.

Q: People think this might be the best defensive line in the country. What do you think of that?

CLAYBORN: I think it's an honor for people to think that, but I mean we'll see when September comes around because right now it's just on paper. I mean it's an honor, but it's only pre-season, so we've got to work hard and try to make it that way.

Q: How do you deal with the high expectations that are put on you and the honors that you are up for this year? Do you block that out or how do you take that?

CLAYBORN: I mean it's hard to block it out, so you've just got to listen to it and take it as an honor. But like I said, you've got to come to camp and put in that work so you can do those things and live up to those expectations. If you take it in and don't work hard, you're not going to succeed, so you've got to remember to keep a level head. Some guys don't do that and that's how they fail.

Q: Do you think about the next level at all as far as next year and where you might be?

CLAYBORN: I mean it goes through my head just because you hear from so many people, but I'm more focused on camp and this season because if I don't have a good season this year, then who knows what happens next year. You've just got to take it one step at a time.

Q: Do you ever think about the decision you made to stay?

CLAYBORN: Not really any more. I feel like I made the right decision and it's all going to work out for me. I really stopped thinking about it right after I made it. After the Orange Bowl, I pretty much knew that I was going to stay, so I don't really think about it much any more.

Q: How close is this defensive line?

CLAYBORN: We're pretty close. We hang out on the field and off the field and I feel like we know each other very well.

Q: Are you anxious for camp?

CLAYBORN: Yeah, I'm ready to get it started. I mean it's been a long time since the Orange Bowl. Everybody was talking about it's right around the corner. No, it was around the corner and down the block. I'm ready to get started.

Q: Can you talk about some of the young guys on the defensive line that are behind you like Lebron and guys like that?

CLAYBORN: Lebron, Mike Daniels, and some of those other guys, they're ready to play. Mike has been waiting a long time and he's put in some work, so I'm excited to watch those guys play.

Q: Can you talk about last year and really making the jump and improving from your sophomore year to your junior year?

CLAYBORN: I think just us as a d-line, we improved, not only myself. Just pushing each other every play, every practice, every drill, that's what makes us better.

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