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'Huge' day for Zach Clayton

AUBURN – Former Auburn defensive tackle Zach Clayton spent most of the biggest day of his life working a 1,000-piece puzzle.

Defensive tackle Zach Clayton will be reunited with DL coach Tracy Rocker

Dusk was starting to fall in Auburn when he finally got the word that he’d been chosen by the Tennessee Titans with the No. 9 pick in the seventh round of the NFL draft.

“It was huge,”: Clayton said. “Waiting all day, it’s a great thing to be able to say at the end of the day that I was drafted.”

Clayton watched the draft with his fiancé, his family, her family, former Auburn offensive lineman Bart Eddins and some track teammates.

“I kind of went into the process of the mindset of it’s meant to be, it’ll be,” Clayton said. “My fiancé’s family brought about a 1,000-piece puzzle. That helped keep my mind off of it.”

Soon after he was chosen, Clayton heard a familiar voice on the telephone. Tracy Rocker, Clayton’s position coach at Auburn for the past two seasons, was calling. Rocker is now the defensive line coach with the Titans,

“When I got the phone call, I can’t tell you how excited I was to have the opportunity to work with Coach Rocker again,” Clayton said.

Clayton was one of four Auburn players chosen in the draft. He said he was grateful, regardless of the round. Now he and other draftees will have to wait to see when the NFL lockout will end.

“Being drafted is the first step,” Clayton said. “It’s the opportunity I needed to get to the next level. A lot of guys didn’t get drafted today. I count myself very lucky. Now I just have to wait and be patient until the lockout is over and I can report to Tennessee and start working to try to get a job.”

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