and a huge pick up. How are our chances with any highly rates DE's looking?
Chris Clark Is A Wolverine
Thursday afternoon Michigan picked up a commitment from big time tight end prospect Chris Clark. Clark's recruitment has been a bit unorthodox but after his visit on Thursday, he knew that Michigan was the place for him.
"It's been crazy. As you know I've always liked Michigan a lot. Ever since they offered me back in January I've always thought of them as a school I could end up at," Clark said. "I mean it's Michigan and they are a school I liked a lot growing up so that was always in the back of my mind. Just the visit today, after I actually had really good visits at Ohio State and Michigan State, I was just hoping to see what it could really be like at Michigan. Honestly, if the visit didn't go how it went today, I was probably going to end up at Michigan State. Today just went so well. My mom and dad loved the coaches, as did I. I've known that for a while obviously, my relationship with them has been great for a long time, but today couldn't have went any better."
Clark's orginal plan was to commit at The Opening in a couple of weeks, but he just thought that he could serve a better purpose if he was comitted before he arrived in Oregon.
"Orginally I thought it would be cool to commit while I was there but I called the guys at The Opening and asked them if it was alright if I didn't and they said, 'Of course, it's your decision'." Clark explained. "I just want to get a head start on being able to recruit kids and these three weeks from now until The Opening a lot can happen for some of these recruits. I want to be able to let people know once I get out there that I'm committed to Michigan. In the most modest of ways I consider myself a pretty high-profile recruit, so other recruits might see that I'm committed and think about the opportunity to play with me and the other commits in our class. It's already a pretty stacked class."
Knowing that he can bring more talent into his class, Clark plans on putting a plan in place with the help of the coaches so he can maximize his abilities as a recruiter.
"I'm going to talk with the coaches and they are going to give me some guys to go after," Clark said. "I'm definitely going to talk to Damien Harris and try to get in his ear a little bit. I know he was once committed to Michigan and he's still considering them. I'd like to look at some wide receivers, maybe Miles Boykin. I would say maybe Justin Hilliard, but I'm not sure he's leaning toward Michigan or not but I'll definitely try. I'm going to talk to Coach Nussmeier and he's going to give me some names of kids so that's the plan."
Recruits as highly touted as Clark all have dreams of playing in the NFL, but he knows that it's not realistic to bank on that alone. Life after football, specifically life after Michigan football, was something that he couldn't pass up.
"The things in place at Michigan for football players are amazing," Clark said. "I mean football is going to end at some point for everyone, some sooner than others, and playing in the NFL is such a small chance. Even if you make it, the average career doesn't last very long, maybe three years. Most people are done playing football in their mid-20's and you have to have a plan for something else. A lot of people go to college just to play football and don't really have a plan for afterwards. At Michigan they do a great job of having you set up after college and networking. They help you branch out and meet important people who can help you get into a great job. I mean I hope I get a chance to play in the NFL, but if I don't I know that Michigan will have me ready for life after football. I mean the combination of football and academics at Michigan, you just can't go wrong."
Michigan obviously won Clark over on his final visit, but is it for real? Perhaps the biggest concern surrounding Clark and his recruitment is the fact that he already committed and decommitted once from North Carolina. He also seems to fall in love after each visit to the point where a commitment seems possible. His explanation of all that should put Michigan fans at ease.
"When you look at recruiting, decommitting happens all the time. I'm not necessarily saying that it's the right thing to do, but when someone commits, later on sometimes it just doesn't feel right." Clark expressed. "I know because I've been there, but that's in the past for me. I'm very happy that it worked out like this and I ended up at Michigan. I'm sure people are going to be like, 'Well how is he not just going to do that again?' Well, I know now that I found the school that is right for me. I have now visited all of the schools that I'm interested in. There isn't another school out there that I'm interested in that I haven't seen. Michigan is the best school out of all of the schools that I really liked, that I was considering. Michigan's the spot, I'm not changing my mind. When I committed to UNC I hadn't visited Michigan, Michigan State, or Ohio State. Now that I've seen them all, Michigan is the spot for me."
Now that Michigan IS the spot for Clark, he already seems to understand exactly what that means.
"I'm ready to win some championships and get Michigan back to the top," he said. "Especially starting to beat Ohio State, that's going to be big. I want to make sure that in my four years I don't lose to Ohio State once."
Everything that Clark said, he said with passion. He spoke about all of the things Brady Hoke preaches about when he talks about Michigan. Clark seems to understand the big picture at Michigan on and off the field. He also went on to speak about how close the recruits in his class already are as well, which is important for a small class. He said that Alex Malzone had been working on him for a while. Clark mentioned how close he already is with Grant Newsome. He's also already spent time with Tyree Kinnell at the Rivals 5-Star Challenge. Clark also spoke highly of Darrin Kirkland Jr. There's a chemistry building among this class which speaks to the character of each commit and the closeness that will hold the group together. Clark is definitely a big pickup for the class and provides some momentum moving into the rest of the summer as fall approaches.
"I want to make sure that in my four years I don't lose to Ohio State once." God bless his Maize and Blue heart.
A talent like that staying all four years? Yes please.
wonderful read. Great job Brandon. this kid will be a great asset not only down the road, but may help bring in some high profile guys.
this kid has his head on right. Can't wait to see him on the field.
Isn't a little strange that these kids perceive these camp events like the Opening as having such sway and power that they feel like they need permission from the camp to not commit while there?
I had the same thought. At least the camp response was what it should be. Good for the kid to at least ask since he was changing his plan and wanted to notify them. The Pattern(TM).
He originally planned on announcing on TV while there so he was basically letting them know that he wasn't doing it. Probably a schedule issue more than anything.
since he was backing out of a scheduled thing with them most likely.
Very nice piece. I think this should put all of the "but UNC..." pessimism to rest, and we can focus solely on what a great addition this kid is. Go Blue!!
for realz...was going to end up at State? I am sure there is an intenet meltdown happening somewhere.
Ultimate blow to say you almost had him.
As far as the OSU comment it sounds like "Game on!". I like the attitude.
Great write up Brandon. Thank you.
"as if a million voices suddenly cried out "fuuuuck" and then were silent.".
Chemistry amongst these classes is a word I keep hearing about over and over. I feel like it started with Morris and the '13 class and him being the govenor and helping recruit other kids. Ferns did the same thing with the '14 class. Now guys like Malzone and Clark are doing it. Granted the first group of guys that I recall hearing that are just going into their sophomore years next fall, so it's not like they're upperclassman or anything. But, you have to think this chemistry, these bonds these guys are developing, this understanding of the Michigan way, wanted to beat OSU, being good people, hardworking kids, etc. is going to pay off eventually as theses classes become upperclassman and take on larger leadership roles on the team. It's hard to find bad apples in any of them. They all seem like good kids who do the right thing.
I feel like every class has a guy like that even in the rich rod years. It just wasn't as apparent or easy to track without the advent of social media. Had there been twitter back in 2005 I'm sure we would have noticed how commits were recruiting targets
Don't forget about Justice Hayes! He was a recruiting animal.
This kid is the real deal and the fact that Chris Clark is talking to him and making good friends with him makes me feel good and not worried about a decommittment. I like that Chris also brings up "after football"....Damn I wish DaShawn Hand could have thought like this.....oh well....
I have heard there are also parts of Mississippi and Southern Georgia were that degree is accepted.
Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
I appreciate the write-up. It helps shed some light on him and his recruitment. Thanks.
Happy to have Chris Clark as a Wolverine.
I can't help but wonder what mGrowOld thinks of the graphic.
“Honestly, if the visit didn't go how it went today, I was probably going to end up at Michigan State.”
That quote kind of threw me off a little bit, but props to Hoke and Co. for getting the job done.
Also adds to how important this season is for our coaches. I want Hoke to get two years regardless, but we need >8 wins and a good looking team. Otherwise, job security questions could cause any recruit - especially those who commit to our coaches and "loved" MSU - to get wandering eyes.
9 wins or better this season, please. I just don't want to have to endure the rumor mill.
I am so impressed with the maturity and character of the commits in this class. What seemingly fine young men. I don't care where Michigan ultimately ends up in the recruiting rankings, this class is special.
Great pick up and great write up. Excited to have him in the class. My only concern is that he learn how to hold the football when running (see picture from initial post)!!
Can a coach give you a list of names to recruit? Is that on the up&up with the NCAA? (referring to him asking Nuss for names to target)
I'm sure that's not an issue.
Great read. Brian made a great decision bringing you on Brandon, best part of the blog imo. Welcome Mr Clark, Go Blue!!!
Mr. Brown, I finished this feeling happy. Go Blue!
I think this will end up being an enormous get for us.
I like this guy. I like this guy a lot.
Thanks for the write up BB.
Grade A work Brandon. You're plugged in and we're the benefactors.
I wonder what number he will wear? I wonder what he thinks about alternate uniforms?
This is probably the best work you've done here. Fantastic job.
I really enjoyed reading the kid's quotes. He seems well-spoken and level-headed which seems like a trend among players we've been getting lately. I really do believe that this year or next some of the talent we've been building up with show itself on the field.
Clark is a great get in his own right, and to hear his recruiting pitch, he should be able to help draw even more talent to AA! Great to see us getting such high character kids.
Very good read! Thanks!
I am impressed with Clarks intelligence. I read his quotes and he is very well spoken and communicates so well for a young man.
obviously he committed for his own reasons, but the Malzone commit really seemed to open the floodgates. Malzone just seems to have that quiet confidence that draws others towards him.
Kid sounds like a class act. Looking forward to seeing him on the field.