WDAM All-Star: USM senior Rod Crayton - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

WDAM All-Star: USM senior Rod Crayton

USM senior defensive lineman Rod Crayton. Courtesy: WDAM USM senior defensive lineman Rod Crayton. Courtesy: WDAM
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Southern Miss defensive lineman Rod Crayton has defied the odds his entire life.

When the fifth-year senior wraps up his Golden Eagle career, he hopes to prove even more people wrong by making a run at the National Football League. But if pro football isn't in the cards for Crayton, he has a back-up plan.

"When football's all over with and it's time to work, I'm trying to go to grad school," Crayton said. "Maybe be a strength and conditioning coach somewhere. I think I want to stay around football and I like the weight room."

Crayton really learned to like the weight room over the summer. Dropping nearly 50 pounds during the offseason, the defensive tackle entered the year at 287 pounds. And Crayton saw results right away, recording five tackles and forcing a fumble in USM's season-opening loss to Kentucky.

"My last year man, I just wanted to do everything that I could," Crayton said. "Wanted to go out with a bang. I just decided that maybe if I lost a little weight, I'd probably move a little better."

"He's come a long way," said USM defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro. "You've heard me talk about it many times before. I think the light bulb finally came on for good and he knows that this is his time. He's taking advantage of that fully."

The shredded weight is especially helpful on Crayton considering he has prosthetic foot. When he was in the third grade, a lawnmower accidentally ran over Crayton's right foot, causing part of it to be amputated.

"You know how big offensive lineman are," Crayton said. "My body weight, their body weight, that ain't good news to the prosthetic."

Nine-years-old at the time of the accident, Crayton's goals of playing college football did not change. In fact, the event motivated him even more.

"Once I got in my accident, after my first surgery, the first thing I asked my grandmamma was if I was going to be able to play [football] again," Crayton said. "I didn't feel sorry for myself then. Everybody's standing around me crying. Wipe your face off, I'm alright. I'm living. I didn't try to let it affect my childhood. I was at P.E., as soon as I got back to school, running on crutches. [I] just let it motivate me and beat the odds. That's the approach I always took."

With 20 tackles including 4.5 for loss this season, Crayton continues to prove his doubters wrong. Crayton's message for others who face adversity is to turn your pain into a gain.

"Everybody else isn't going to see your dream," Crayton said. "As long as you see it and you believe in yourself, you can do anything you want to do. Just like in life, something might be hurting but you can't sit there and want somebody to feel sorry for you. You've got to move on. You've got to take your pain as a man. I try to never let my pain stop me."

Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • FDA warns teething medicines unsafe, wants them off shelves

    FDA warns teething medicines unsafe, wants them off shelves

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:43 AM EDT2018-05-23 13:43:09 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 5:54 PM EDT2018-05-25 21:54:53 GMT
    The Food and Drug Administration said that various gels and creams containing the drug benzocaine can cause rare but deadly side effects in children, especially those 2 years and younger. (Source: FDA)The Food and Drug Administration said that various gels and creams containing the drug benzocaine can cause rare but deadly side effects in children, especially those 2 years and younger. (Source: FDA)

    The US Food and Drug Administration health is warning parents about the risks of teething remedies.

    More >>

    The US Food and Drug Administration health is warning parents about the risks of teething remedies.

    More >>
  • Morgan Freeman apologizes in wake of harassment accusations

    Morgan Freeman apologizes in wake of harassment accusations

    Thursday, May 24 2018 1:32 PM EDT2018-05-24 17:32:54 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 5:24 PM EDT2018-05-25 21:24:21 GMT
    (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this May 22, 2018 file photo, actor Morgan Freeman attends the 2018 PEN Literary Gala in New York. Freeman is apologizing to anyone who may have felt “uncomfortable or disrespected” by his behavior....(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this May 22, 2018 file photo, actor Morgan Freeman attends the 2018 PEN Literary Gala in New York. Freeman is apologizing to anyone who may have felt “uncomfortable or disrespected” by his behavior....
    Actor Morgan Freeman has apologized for making anyone feel uneasy, in the wake of a CNN report in which multiple women accused him of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.More >>
    Actor Morgan Freeman has apologized for making anyone feel uneasy, in the wake of a CNN report in which multiple women accused him of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.More >>
  • Mississippi city settles with LGBT group over pride parade

    Mississippi city settles with LGBT group over pride parade

    Friday, May 25 2018 5:19 PM EDT2018-05-25 21:19:47 GMT
    Starkville's mayor has agreed to pay attorney's fees and offer support for LGBT rights following a lawsuit that denied a gay pride parade in the city. (Photo Source: WDAM)Starkville's mayor has agreed to pay attorney's fees and offer support for LGBT rights following a lawsuit that denied a gay pride parade in the city. (Photo Source: WDAM)

    A Mississippi city has agreed to pay attorney's fees and proclaim support for LGBT rights to settle a lawsuit over its denial of permission for a gay pride parade. Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill tells the Commercial Dispatch that aldermen approved the agreement 4-1 Friday. She says the city will pay $12,750, which includes fees for attorneys representing Starkville Pride, the group that sued. The city reversed course and issued the permit after the lawsuit. About 2,500 people took p...

    More >>

    A Mississippi city has agreed to pay attorney's fees and proclaim support for LGBT rights to settle a lawsuit over its denial of permission for a gay pride parade. Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill tells the Commercial Dispatch that aldermen approved the agreement 4-1 Friday. She says the city will pay $12,750, which includes fees for attorneys representing Starkville Pride, the group that sued. The city reversed course and issued the permit after the lawsuit. About 2,500 people took p...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly