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Big checks, big plays for Clayton

The Baltimore Sun

Editor's note: Each Wednesday we'll bring you a Q&A; with a Ravens player to help you learn a little more about the team. The second installment of this series is an interview with wide receiver Mark Clayton, whose 42-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of the Ravens' 17-10 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 7 was the longest rush by a nonrunning back in team history. Clayton discusses expectations, a career outside football and one of his first jobs.

What was your welcome-to-the-NFL moment?

My first check. [Chuckles.] I was thinking, "Oh, my God. You've got to be kidding me."

What has been the proudest moment of your NFL career?

Being on the receiving end of one of Steve McNair's longest passes. The one against Kansas City [an 87-yard touchdown in the third quarter of the Ravens' 20-10 victory on Dec. 10, 2006]. That was cool.

Is it true that Oakland Raiders safety Michael Huff dunked on you during his first celebrity basketball game in April?

[Laughs.] Of course, he's going to tell everybody that he dunked on me. But he was mad that I dunked on him. He's never going to admit to it. It was just a one-handed tomahawk. He told me I was lucky.

How have you dealt with the scrutiny that a player drafted in your position (22nd overall in 2005) has attracted?

That doesn't bother me at all. The expectations I have for myself are higher than anybody else's that they could put on me. So it doesn't matter.

What was one of your first jobs?

I used to butter the biscuits at Popeye's. I made the best biscuits because I took my time on every single last biscuit to make sure that it was crispy and golden brown. This was my junior year in high school. I moved on to Krispy Kreme and I ate Krispy Kreme doughnuts all the time. I still eat them.

What's better: a biscuit from Popeye's or a doughnut from Krispy Kreme?

I'm going to have to go with a Krispy Kreme doughnut. It's more fattening. I like fattening foods. That's a part of my diet.

Please finish this statement: If I weren't playing football, I would be ...

An architect or an engineer. I love architecture. Coming out of high school, I was going to college to be an engineer, but I got into football. I let engineering go.

You are stuck on an island with a book, a CD and a DVD. What are they?

My DVD would probably be Harlem Nights with Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Redd Foxx. That's comedy. The CD would probably have to be Usher's Confessions. That's an outstanding CD all the way through. I would take a suspense [novel] and then create my own endings every time.

What's better: a Super Bowl ring or a Hall of Fame bust?

I'd rather be in the Hall of Fame because in order to get into the Hall of Fame, a lot of the people around you have to be good. Saying that, the chances are that the team is probably going to win at least one Super Bowl.

Who would play Mark Clayton in the movie The Life of Mark Clayton and why?

Taye Diggs. Similar stature. His personality and the roles he has played - the smooth, loverboy type.

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