Hello: Frank Clark

Submitted by Tim on February 2nd, 2011 at 8:28 AM

OH Ath Frank Clark has committed to join Michigan's class of 2011. The Cleveland Glenville product projects to a number of positions, but is expected to play linebacker or tight end in Ann Arbor.

 

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN
3*, #33 TE 3*, 5.6, NR LB 3*, 77, #82 DE

The sites are basically in agreement on Clark's size: he's about 6-3 and 210 pounds. ESPN's evaluation is mostly at defensive end, and therefore unlikely to be too useful, but here are the revelant words:

He is a physical kid and can be a solid tackler. He is active and defends the run well. Displays good upside as a pass rusher. He will attack half-a-man and while he needs to develop his pass rush arsenal he can be active with his weapons and can turn the corner well to get to the quarterback. There is some possibility that Clark could be looked at as a tight end, but we feel he fits well on defense and with some work could develop into a good college defender and end up being a nice little pick-up for a program.

It seems like they're in love with him on defense, particularly on the line (or as an outside 'backer in a 3-4, I suppose). This is particularly odd, given that the rest of their evaluation is "he's not polished with the skills necessary for a position that he hasn't played and likely won't."

Since there's precious little out there on Clark's game, I'll dip into the paid reserves a bit, to excerpt this ($) Scout article:

Also impressing was Glenville (Ohio) receiver Frank Clark. With a large frame, long arms, and a solid lower body, Clark looks like a prime-time D-I athlete. Clark moves well for being about 6-4, 215-pounds. Although not quite a tight end, Clark looks as though he can easily put on another 10 pounds and be a big redzone target. He jumps relatively well and has pretty good-sized hands. His concentration was a bit inconsistent, but when he worked, he is a very good player. His waist is not quite big enough to grow into a tight end and he is already a thickly built kid; he will come into a D-I program pretty well developed. Not a true burner, Clark’s straight-line speed is decent due to his long strides.

He also "passes the eyeball test," and is "one of the fastest rising recruits in the midwest" for what it's worth. GBMW talks about his game:

He is a very good athlete and moves well for his size, which is listed in the 205-210 range. Frank clearly has the frame to add the weight needed to be a college TE or H-back. His straight-line speed is reported to be in the 4.5+ range.

Frank runs solid routes and uses his body well to separate from defenders. Glenville is loaded with skilled players, so Clark does not show up a ton on film. His video from the Michigan showcase was impressive.

So, he's on the borderline between a wideout and tight end in body size - though if he's actually 6-4, and can pack on weight, he should be just fine. In terms of skill set, he seems like a hybrid TE/WR, as he performed mostly as a wideout at camps, and it doesn't sound like he's done a lot of blocking.

OFFERS

Rivals credits Frank with offers from Michigan State, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Cal, along with a trio of MAC schools. Scout says he also had interest, but no offers, from Penn State and Pitt. He also heard (briefly) from Ohio State, but his chance for an offer disappeared when Ryan Shazier committed to the Buckeyes.

Michigan (offered in December), Michigan State, and North Carolina were Clark's final three.

STATS

ESPN has some stats:

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Clark played outside linebacker and tight end during his senior season. He made 70 tackles including 19 sacks while catching 12 passes with three touchdowns.

Not bad, especially for a team that has playmakers at every position.

FAKE 40 TIME

Rivals credits Clark with a 4.53 40-yard time. That is very impressive for a guy that ESPN ranks as a defensive end, and would even be a pretty good time for, say, a strong safety. I'm pleased to present it with four FAKEs out of five.

VIDEO

There doesn't appear to be any video of Clark on Youtube or even on ScoutingOhio. That's pretty rare, especially for a guy from a program as high-profile as Cleveland Glenville. If you can find any out there, let me know.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

With fellow recent commit Keith Heitzman expected to find a home on the defensive line, Clark is almost certain to be a tight end at Michigan. Depending on the status of Brandon Moore, who has yet to see the field, that could mean a redshirt for Frank. After a redshirt season, he and Moore will be the only tight ends on the roster (barring further commitments, of course), and he should see serious playing time with the two-tights leaning of the new staff.

Frank will always be a bit on the smaller side for a tight end, given what the recruiting services have said about him, so he'll be more of a pass-catching threat than a devastating blocker. However, that means stats should come, and with them accolades. Clark has All-Big Ten potential before he leaves Ann Arbor.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Wooo! Michigan got a tight end! That was a huge need in this class, and Mr. Clark's commitment makes it less of a pressing issue. The coaching staff is still going hard after TX TE Chris Barnett as well. Barnett is more of a true tight end, and is probably more ready to play right away than Clark is.

Going forward, Clark gives Michigan a foot in the door at the notoriously impenetrable Glenville Academic Campus, which pumps out top prospects on a yearly basis.

Comments

Michigania

February 2nd, 2011 at 9:04 AM ^

as i've said since we signed him, i think heitzman will play linebacker.

and don't be so sure what position clark plays. as far as you know, the staff may want him at wide receiver...a big one at that who can block like hines ward.   

i guess we'll learn soon enough when hoke speaks today.

True Blue Grit

February 2nd, 2011 at 10:28 AM ^

He sounds like a very good athlete.  I like his speed.  Probably LB is his best position, even though this class is already heavy with LB's.  That's OK because our cupboard is pretty bare at that position after this year.  He seems too small to play TE.  I'd much rather see a guy more like Barnett's size in our future offense.  Either way, Clark will need to put on at least 15 pounds I'd say - more if he wants to play TE. 

mejunglechop

February 2nd, 2011 at 2:17 PM ^

Not to be a downer, and I'm glad he's in the class given the need at TE, but do you know what the odds are that a random middling 3 star becomes an All-Big Ten player? Me neither, but they're really really low. It's been years since it's happened for us. The fewer 4/5 stars we land the more Tim's FJS (Fred Jackson Syndrome) symptoms surface.

john22

February 2nd, 2011 at 3:33 PM ^

Frank,I'm stunned that Ted Ginn Sr. would let this happen.Now that we have Chris Barnett in this class i think Frank Clark we play OLB.GO BLUE!!!