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John Clayton, Senior NFL Writer and Commentator, ESPN

John Clayton ESPNJohn Clayton, ESPN's guru of football, honed his skills at Duquesne.

John took advantage of the University's location to work as a freelance writer covering the Pittsburgh Steelers, building the tremendous background that makes him such an insightful commentator today.

While a high school student, John began working covering the Steelers and other area teams. Turning down a scholarship offer from Syracuse University's renowned journalism school, he opted instead to attend Duquesne.

"Duquesne encouraged me to reach out and grasp the opportunities and partnerships Pittsburgh offered," said the 1976 graduate. He held 25 jobs as a stringer for national and local print and broadcast media during his four years at Duquesne.

That extensive exposure to professional athletes and reporters led to a job offer from The Pittsburgh Press before he even graduated-in fact, before he even applied.

From there, John's career took off. In 1986, he moved to Washington state to cover football for the Tacoma News Tribune, adding a local radio show in 1990 and joining ESPN five years later. His work is seen, heard and read across nearly all of ESPN's outlets: Inside the Huddle segments on SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Live and the NFL Draft, with regular contributions to ESPN.com, ESPN Radio and ESPN The Magazine.

In 2007, John received the Dick McCann Memorial Award, voted on by the Pro Football Writers of America and annually recognizing one member of the PFWA for distinguished service, and has been inducted into the writers' wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

He has continued his strong ties with Duquesne. In 2010, DU's Department of Journalism and Multimedia Arts (JMA) honored John with its Sean Doherty Distinguished Communicator Award for lifetime service exemplifying ethics, professionalism and compassion. In Spring 2013, he will co-teach a JMA course, Sports Journalism: Covering the Pros.