Today, I saw 27-year-old Aaron Rodgers fly a football around Cowboys Stadium, touch the Lombardi trophy and graciously accept a brand new, Chevy Camaro convertible, presented to him by Terry Bradshaw. Someone from the booth called Bradshaw, “TB,” a horrible nickname, reminiscent of the bacterial lung infection which, if left untreated, kills more than 50 percent of its victims but I digress. So, Rodgers and his second string team took down Big Ben and Troy “Head & Shoulders” Polamalu in 3 quarters and (almost) 13 minutes. Congrats to the little city that could. Over here in Phoenix, specifically the SandBar on Gold Dust, former Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn was signing autographs and meeting fans during the game, as a result of his combine training in the area.
While waiting in line, I noticed Clayborn’s mouth was barely moving. He’s a mammoth of a man, standing at 6′ 4″, 285 lbs.; to be blunt, this is one big dude. While you’d think his size alone would be enough to incite fear and intimidation, Clayborn’s presence is nothing of the sort. He was soft spoken (when he spoke at all) and gentle in nature. His teddy bear-esque aura was endearing and almost comforting. I truly wish him the best of luck at the combine and in what we expect to be a successful and dominating career in the NFL. Go Hawks!
The St. Louis native was born with a condition known as “Erb’s Palsy,” caused during birth by an injury to the nerves near the shoulder. Because of this, he suffered nerve damage resulting in the loss of some movement and weakness in his right arm. However, he overcame all odds through physical therapy and today, the condition is a “non-issue.”
Clayborn redshirted his first season at Iowa in ’06. The following season, he took the second-string defensive lineman spot and took the field on special teams. Ferentz bumped up his action in 2008, when he racked up 50 tackles. 2009 was Clayborn’s breakout year with 20 tackles for loss and the title of Orange Bowl MVP (Iowa v. G Tech). ESPN, Sporting News, Playboy Magazine and P Steele recognized Clayborn in 2010, most naming him as an All-American. He was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Penn State game and on Nov. 10, he was named as a finalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award.
© 2011, Kalea Yoshida. All rights reserved.