Bulldog standout defensive end Erik Clanton recently signed with the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes, according to General Manager and Director of Football Operations and Player Personnel Jim Popp.
Clanton, who was the Bulldogs’ only 2010 All Conference first team selection, finished the regular season ranked tied for 12th in the FCS and second in the SoCon in pass sacks with 9.0, an average of .87 per game, while also placing third in the SoCon in tackles for loss with 14.0 for a loss of 61 yards. Clanton’s sacks also ranked him tied for third all-time at The Citadel in total sacks in a season.
A Southern Pigskin Mid-Season All-Southern Conference team selection, Clanton emerged as the Bulldogs’ defensive threat in 2010, totaling the third highest amount of total tackles among The Citadel defenders with 62. He also recorded one quarterback hurry, one fumble recovery for 40 yards and three forced fumbles.
Clanton’s best performance of the season came against Georgia Southern when he totaled 16 tackles. He also recorded seven tackles, four for a loss of 22 yards, including three sacks for a loss of 18 yards, against Chowan in the season-opener.
“Erik had a great senior year. He was an excellent leader with a strong work ethic,” said Bulldog Head Coach Kevin Higgins. “Coming back for his fifth year really improved his skill set. His speed, quickness and athleticism are ideal for the Canadian League. Montreal will love his motor. We wish Erik the best.”
According to Popp, Clanton has a natural ability to play defensive end which he may not have been able to do the NFL. The Alouettes have had several Bulldogs on their roster throughout the years and Popp said they welcome Clanton to the list that includes former Bulldog players Lester Smith (DB), Lance Cook (DE), and Everette Sands (RB).
“Playing in Montreal is going to be a great culture shock but I’m looking forward to being apart of something that is not only fooball, but a different way of life,” said Clanton. “Plus learning a little French won’t be so bad.”
Clanton ended his career with 12.0 sacks, 114 total tackles, 22.0 tackles for a loss of 113 yards, three pass deflections, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
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