Like fellow class of 2010 signee John Brown, Dave Clark is another highly rated junior college transfer that will call Knoxville and the University of Tennessee home for the remainder of his college career. Clark, who is originally from SEC country by way of Louisiana, headed to Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas out of high school.
The Louisiana native was originally slated to head to Kansas University until the coaching changes happened in Lawrence. After the new staff came in, Clark was granted his release after having already signed with the Jayhawks. He then met the head coach at Louisiana Tech and developed a strong relationship with a guy by the name of Derek Dooley. By now, you may know where this is going…UT was not recruiting Clark but once Dooley got hired by UT, he immediately called his top La. Tech recruit and extended him a UT offer, which turned out to be too good to pass up for Clark.
Playing in the ultra competitive junior college football league in the state of Kansas, Clark faced off against some very talented athletes including last year’s number one junior college receiver, Tyrece Gaines, who is now enrolled at Oregon. Gaines who is 6-foot-2, 225 pounds had a great career in the junior college ranks but was unable to do anything against Clark in two meetings. Clark has great size and impressive ball skills to go along with his strong competitive nature.
From the outside, some may take a quick peek at Clark and his recruitment and think that he has commitment issues but the real issue was the fact that everywhere he committed, the entire staff was soon gone. Although he went to a junior college, Clark has solid grades and is a very mature player who has the ability to step in and adjust to the division one level immediately.
Scouts, Inc does not have an evaluation of Clark at this time but he is a big corner with all the right moves to be successful in the SEC. At his size, you would expect Clark to be physical, which he is, but he is also very quick and fluid with his hips and his overall movement. Clark has the ability to stay with the faster receivers and read the play while staying in position both in and out of his back peddle. With the likes of AJ Green, Julio Jones and so many other big time weapons in the SEC, Clark will be a great piece to the Vols secondary.
With the loss of Eric Berry, any team would feel the effects, but with guys like Clark coming in to help out returners like Janzen Jackson, the Vol secondary should be able to help the front seven in run support and also keep the play in front of them once it gets into the second and third levels.
The cornerback position is so important to the success of the defense, and anytime you can bring in a veteran athlete with experience at the college level, that gives a boost to your prospects on that side of the ball. Clark played in one of the best leagues of junior college football in the country and the wide receivers that he went against each week and in practice, kept him sharp at all times.
Heading into the SEC, Clark will need to remain sharp and with his physicality and overall athleticism, Clark looks as if he has the makings of a very solid cornerback for Tennessee.