Carlisle football player Clayton Fields is seated with family and friends during a signing ceremony last week at Bison Arena. Fields is going to play college football at Harding University in Searcy this fall.
Carlisle lineman Clayton Fields holds the ball up after scoring a touchdown on a fumble recovery against Moutain Pine last September.
Carlisle Bison lineman Clayton “Bobo” Fields is taking his game to the collegiate level.
Fields signed a National Letter of Intent to play football for the Harding University Bisons next season during a ceremony at Bison Arena last week. Harding is a member of NCAA Division II in Searcy.
They are coached by former Carlisle Junior Bison head coach Ronnie Huckeba.
Fields said that ever since he was playing in the eighth grade he had dreams of playing football in college.
“I put my mind to it and did the little things and came in to the fieldhouse later after practice and put the work in and got it done,” Fields said.
Fields said Harding became interested in him after seeing him work out at a combine at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
“I was going through some drills and Coach [Paul] Simmons, the defensive line coach, pulled me aside and asked me my name,” Fields said. “After the camp, he gave me a brochure. I wouldn’t even look at Harding but I went to camp and fell in love with the place and they fell in love with me. The rest is history.”
Fields said he was looking at Arkansas Tech University at Russellville and Henderson State University at Arkadelphia.
“It’s been pretty much Harding all the way through,” he said.
Carlisle coach Scott Waymire said it’s a great opportunity for Fields to play at Harding.
“Being around Bobo for the last six years, that was always a dream of his to play at the next level,” Waymire said. “I think Harding is getting not only a great football player but a great young man, that I think, over time with his dedication and work ethic, he can be a heck of a football player for the next four our five years.”
Fields said Harding is wanting him to play defensive tackle right now.
“They said whatever spot I can benefit the team, that’s where they’ll put me,” he said. “I’ll see what happens in camp.”
An added bonus of playing at Harding is still being a Bison and wearing black and gold, Fields said.
“It’s a real big deal for me. I’ve always been a Carlisle Bison and I always want to be a Bison so it’s a great honor to wear black and gold some more,” he said. “I really don’t like the ‘s’ on the end of it but I think I can be called a bisons instead of bison. I think I can deal with it!”
Huckeba said Fields is a “physical player.”
“He’s a guy we fell in love with back at camp last summer and have been recruiting him all along,” he said. “At Harding, we love offensive linemen with defensive mindsets. That is Clayton Fields. He is really a physical football player and a great fit for us.”
Fields helped the Carlisle Bison to three conference championships during his three high school seasons, starting on both sides of the football. The Bison were the Class 2A state runners-up in 2011.
He was named all-conference and will play in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star game in June in Conway. He was named the outstanding lineman for the 2A-6 conference, anchoring an offensive line that had 4,137 total yards and 62 touchdowns. He led the defensive line with 40.5 tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown.