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31 DAYS TO 2022 KICKOFF: Jake Clifton

In which BracketCat counts down the 31st day until the 2022 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State linebacker Jake Clifton.

#31 Jahron McPherson
Safety Jahron McPherson (31) has elected to move on with his career, opening up his jersey number for incoming walk-on linebacker Jake Clifton.
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.

#31 Jake Clifton

True Freshman | 6-2 | 210 lbs. | Owasso, Oklahoma
Jake Clifton
Jake Clifton
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Linebacker
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Redshirt
  • Status: On Scholarship

Jacob Clifton (b. Aug. 22, 2003) is a versatile, intelligent linebacker from Owasso High School in Oklahoma who likely will redshirt in 2022 amid a deep linebacking corps.

Clifton, who plans on majoring in athletic training and rehabilitation sciences, prepped under head coach Bill Blankenship at Owasso, where he was viewed as the 85th-best outside linebacker and 20th-best player overall in the state of Oklahoma by ESPN.

Clifton was named the 2021 District 6A1-2 co-Defensive Player of the Year as he led the Rams with 72 tackles, which included four sacks, and helped them to earn a state championship as a sophomore in 2019. He also competed in track and basketball.

Clifton chose K-State over scholarship offers from Air Force, Army, Colorado State, Georgetown, Illinois, Liberty, Memphis, Minnesota, Missouri, Tulsa and Washington State.

His primary recruiters were his new position coach, linebackers coach Steve Stanard, and former wide receivers and then fullbacks/tight ends coach Jason Ray.

Here’s what head coach Chris Klieman had to say about Clifton’s future linebacker potential:

He came and visited us in the summer. Coached by Bill Blankenship, and a number of us have known Coach Blankenship for an awful long time. One of the icons in the profession. Jake is a really fast linebacker. He plays really well in space and will strike you. Really smart kid, and we were excited to continue to add depth to the linebacker room.