Editor’s Note: This is the latest installment of a weekly feature in which the Las Vegas Review-Journal asks 20 questions of a member of the UNLV football team.
Today’s Q&A is with junior Omar Clayton, who will quarterback the Rebels against Oregon State at 8 p.m. Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium.
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1. You went from Illinois to Texas and back to Illinois in high school. How difficult was it to bounce back and forth?
I think the most difficult part was leaving in the first place. When I got to go back home to Illinois, it was more like a relief. I wanted to do it.
2. How many times have you had to recount in media interviews those moves plus how you worked up UNLV’s depth chart after walking on?
I think I’ve told that story a million times now. Maybe a million and one.
3. Can you tell that story in your sleep?
I’m pretty sure I could. Probably without thinking about it, I could just write it down and do something else at the same time.
4. Is there some satisfaction you’ve succeeded after being overlooked in recruiting?
Absolutely. When you get overlooked, you kind of feel like maybe you weren’t good enough to play at a certain level. Then being able to come here and play well and hopefully continue to play well and get better, that does a lot for me just saying, "I’m at a level where I can play well, and this isn’t above my skill level."
5. Has becoming a successful quarterback changed anything off the field?
I suppose a few more people know who I am. It’s all right, I guess. I don’t want to be famous or anything.
6. What was your favorite college while growing up?
My favorite colleges were UT (Texas) and Virginia Tech. I don’t know why Virginia Tech. I liked Virginia Tech before Michael Vick got there and definitely when Michael Vick was there. And Texas was always one of those great schools, so I was a Longhorn fan for a while.
7. What’s your favorite NFL team?
My favorite NFL team is the Falcons. As soon as (Vick) got there, I was a Falcons fan. Even though he’s gone, I’m still a Falcons fan.
8. Other than football, what’s your favorite sport to watch?
Football’s it for me, but my second favorite sport to play is basketball.
9. You’re from Normal, Ill., and you’re wearing a White Sox cap, so is that your team?
White Sox hats are my favorite hats to wear. I’m not necessarily a White Sox fan. I don’t care if they win or lose as long as they keep making the White Sox hats.
10. Is there anything abnormal about Normal?
The name. I don’t know who sat down and thought to call a town "Normal." Who does stuff like that?
11. Are there any quarterbacks, other than Vick, you admire or study?
I really admire (Texas’) Colt McCoy because he performs well week in and week out.
I feel like that quarterbacks in my offense, me and Mike (Clausen), we have a lot of responsibilities. A lot of what the offense does is up to us.
And watching (McCoy), it seems he has a lot to do with his offense, and he makes it go. It’s something I like to watch. I will say for the record he should’ve won the Heisman Trophy last year. He does so much more for his offense, and he doesn’t just stand back in the pocket for eight seconds and wait to throw the ball like (Oklahoma’s) Sam Bradford.
12. Do you think Florida quarterback Tim Tebow can play in the NFL?
Anybody who can win a Heisman Trophy can play in the NFL, I think. I don’t know necessarily what he would do. Maybe based on his offense and what his job is at Florida doesn’t show his talent to run a pro-style offense. But I can’t say he wouldn’t because people would say a 6-foot quarterback (Clayton’s height) can’t play in the NFL.
13. You’re a political science major. Are you going to be a politician?
I don’t know about a politician, but it’s a good major for law school.
14. Where do you go for fun?
I always love to be home. I have the most fun doing nothing because I feel we’re so busy being college athletes, especially during the season.
That and I love to go to the movies. I probably go to see every movie I can.
15. Who’s your funniest teammate?
Maybe (wide receiver) Renan Saint Preux.
16. Who’s the most intense?
Maybe (defensive end) Malo (Taumua).
17. Who’s the smartest?
(Wide receiver) Ryan Wolfe.
18. Do you ever watch a player like Oregon State tailback Jacquizz Rodgers during a game?
Not really because we’re really focused on what the defense is doing. Of course, you’re always aware of those players.
19. What do you think about playing a team such as Oregon State?
I think it’s a great opportunity for us to get to play a good team from a different conference.
20. Is there a team not on the schedule you’d like to face?
Anybody from a different conference because there’s not a lot of love out there for the Mountain West.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2914. Read the latest UNLV football updates at lvrj.com/blogs/unlv_sports.