Oregon's Clayton Makes Quick Jump To Collegiate Baseball
By Haley Hirai
Senioritis never existed for Porter Clayton.
The 18-year-old Idaho Falls, Idaho, native cut his senior year of high school short in order to play for the Oregon Ducks during the 2011 season. After graduating from Bonneville High School in the winter of 2010, Clayton made the 11-hour drive to Eugene, Ore. just in time for Oregon's winter term.
"I just got thrown into the fire, I didn't really have time to adjust. I had no choice but to get here and start playing Division I baseball," said Clayton, the top-ranked high school player in the state of Idaho and 2010 Under Armour All-American.
Clayton made the unusual decision to graduate high school early because he is planning on serving a 2-year Mormon mission with his church starting his junior year. After discussing his dreams to both play baseball and go on a mission with his parents and mentors, Clayton decided that graduating high school early would be the best path to be able to do both.
"Going on a mission was something I've always wanted to do ever since I was a kid. It never left my mind. One of the reasons I came to Oregon is because the coaches were all for it," said Clayton.
During his hectic last weeks at home, Clayton was trying to finish up school and preparing to make the jump to collegiate-level baseball. Spending his mornings and afternoons training and working on online classes late at night, he also had to prepare to leave his own high school team to join a new one.
"It was difficult to leave everyone. Our baseball team finished second last year in the state baseball tournament and they have high expectations for this year. It was hard to leave them," said Clayton.
When he arrived at Oregon, Clayton moved in with new teammates Tyler Anderson, Jack Marder, and Scott McGough, who ushered him into college life. Clayton plans on majoring in accounting because he aspires to become an accountant after his baseball days are over. In the meantime, the freshman has no regrets as he continues to live his dream of playing collegiate baseball every day.
"I love just being at the ball field, and showing up everyday. There's nothing better than playing for the Ducks," he said.