Former Spring Valley High Player Signs NFL Deal
Defensive end Erik Clanton signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers
A former Viking is now a Steeler.
Erik Clanton, a standout defensive end at Spring Valley High School and then at The Citadel, signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday.
Because no team selected Clanton during the 2011 NFL Draft, he had to wait for the NFL lockout to end to learn his football future.
"It's been a long time coming, from early obstacles in my college career to a great senior year," Clanton told the Post and Courier. "But I always knew I wanted to go to the NFL...and that time is now."
Clanton will attempt to make the Steelers as a linebacker, according to the team's website. During his senior season at The Citadel, Clanton made first-team All-Conference for the SoCon and recorded nine sacks.
Because of the lockout, Clanton decided to take his first shot at pro football in Canada, signing a deal with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. The Alouettes cut Clanton before the beginning of the season.
Clanton may have an even more difficult time making the Steelers final 53 man roster, but at least he'll have a friend to experience training camp with, as Citadel cornerback Cortez Allen was drafted by the Steelers during the fourth round of the NFL Draft.
"The fact that a former teammate of mine will be there just makes a blessing that much more wonderful," Clanton said.