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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Clayborne Fields III, S, Marist

Clayborne Fields III is a ball-hawking safety out of Marist College. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
Clayborne Fields III is a ball-hawking safety out of Marist College. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Clayborne Fields III
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 200 lbs.
  • Position: S
  • College: Marist College
  • Twitter: Enmitty
  • Instagram: Clay.2p

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I have been majoring in Business with a concentration in Marketing. I also have a minor in Sports Communication. I’ve interned for iteachspeed which is a training program in the central New Jersey area. I’ve volunteered for community service with Meals on Wheels, where we deliver food to veterans. I’ve been a peer mentor to children from low-income families as well as a peer mentor at Marist for incoming students.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
Most of my teammates would say my football IQ and my situational awareness. I’m able to manipulate coverages, forcing QBs to make false throws and create turnovers.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
My role on the team is to lead by example. I want to be on all special teams in order to prove to younger players that no one is too good for special teams and you have to always want to be on the field. As a team leader, I have harped on some players and helped them out as best as I can.

Coach Rumsey has helped me understand my role with how we disguise our coverage and put offenses in a bind. We play a base 3-3-5 defense, and I’m used in a lot of different ways, playing deep over top as well as coming into the box to either defend against the run, come off the edge or man up versus the slot, TE or RB.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
Adam Trautman is the first name that comes to mind. He was a big target in Dayton’s offense before getting drafted by the Saints a couple years ago. He knew how to use his size to his advantage which forced me to play more aggressively toward him.

BJ Byrd was an All-American WR out of Morehead State. He had good speed and athletic ability. He also had a lot of touches throughout the course of the game which we had to respect and game plan for.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Teddy Wright is a very physical player who sometimes plays opposite to me as a safety although will often play as a nickel LB. He’s very athletic and faster than people think. He’s good in coverage and has a high football IQ. He has an amazing ability to get off his blocks and make plays.

Tyhir Harley plays corner and sometimes nickel. He has great quick twitch and plays man-to-man as well as zone coverage really well. He gets out of his breaks fast and makes a lot of plays.

Isaiah Smith is a corner that’s hard to beat deep. He’s a great zone corner who’s very physical and is a great tackler.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
Early on in the pandemic, there was a time when I went through some things that affected me mentally on the field and in the classroom. It was just something that I had to push through. With the help of my family and friends, I was able to refocus which helped me have a great season.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Basketball. I may not have been the best shooter in the past, but I feel like over the years I’ve developed a great shot. Coming from being a DB, I can be a good defender and do well in the post.

Track & field is another sport I could do. I was a State Champion high jumper in high school with a personal best of 6’2”. I also participated in the triple jump, ran the 100m and was the lead off runner in the 4x100m)

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m really proud of graduating. I’ll be the 3rd in my family with a college degree behind my father and sister. On the field, I’m very proud of being an All-American last year. It shows the results of everything that we’re doing behind the scenes. All of the hard work and film study has paid off.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
My first college Int was in 2021 against Bryant. We were at home and the stadium was packed. They were in a 3rd and long situation, and we knew from studying our opponent that they liked using crossing routes. As the play developed, I rolled into the flat, and with no one in my area, I expanded out (Our coach always tells us to look for work on the play). My eyes picked up the crossing receiver, and I sank under the throw, getting the Int and falling down. I remember being so shocked at that moment. I didn’t have any celebration planned. Next time, I will have something prepared.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys. I try to model myself after Ed Reed. He had such a high football IQ. He was a great ball hawk, a committed player, team leader and one of the best tacklers in the league. A current player that I like to watch is Jessie Bates. He’s a great deep safety that can come down and play man-to-man with anyone.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite music artist is Toosii. Before games, I like to listen to “Not the Same” by Lil Durk.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Chicken Parm.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
One of my favorite TV shows is Narcos. I like actors like Ryan Reynold who’s hilarious. The movie “Ted” is one of my favorites.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my spare time, I like to cook which could be considered a secret talent. At one time, I thought I might go into culinary school. One thing people may not know about me is that I’m a phenomenal dancer. I took many dance classes throughout high school.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
My family is my motivation. I want to help all of them in the future, and hopefully be part of giving them a great life and beginning generational wealth, putting future generations in a good position. My mother is a huge part of my “why”. She works so hard, sacrifices so much and wants the best for me. I want to reciprocate that love and give her whatever her heart desires and more.

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