Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Q&A: Clark talks favorites, decision date
By Greg Ostendorf
CALERA, Ala. -- Spring practice just wrapped up for ESPN 150 athlete Ronnie Clark, and he put an exclamation point on it last week with three rushing touchdowns for Calera High School in the first half of their spring game.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound athlete is playing quarterback this year for the Eagles, but he is being recruited as a defensive player for the next level, either as a linebacker or a safety.
Clark already has a bevy of offers, including a new one from LSU this spring, but he’s always favored two in-state schools: Alabama and Auburn. Despite rumors of his impending commitment, he says he’ll make his decision when he’s ready.
We caught up with Clark to talk about his spring, his recruitment and when he plans to make that decision.
2014 ATH Ronnie Clark might be a linebacker or safety in college, and he's playing quarterback for Calera High School.
TideNation: What have you been working on this spring and which positions have you been playing?
Ronnie Clark: I’ve been working out at safety, and I’m starting at quarterback this year so I’ve been working at quarterback. I’m getting it down. People say I look like a legitimate quarterback. I’m getting it down pat.
TN: What position do you want to play at the next level?
Clark: It’s just so hard to tell what you can play. I just know one thing: I’m going to excel at whatever they want me to play, whatever somebody wants me to play. If they want me to gain a couple pounds, I can gain weight easily. I can probably get to 230 this summer if I wanted to, but that’s not what I’m looking at. My frame will probably end up being a linebacker, but if I still have the versatility to play safety, that’s what I’d prefer to play.
TN: Which schools have been by to see you this spring?
Clark: Alabama, Auburn, Jacksonville State, Cincinnati, Georgia, Clemson, LSU, Ole Miss -- a bunch of schools have been by. I got an offer from LSU a couple weeks ago.
TN: Growing up in Louisiana, what did it mean when you got the LSU offer?
Clark: It meant a lot. When I started out, they were the first people I sent my stuff out to. They didn’t bite then, but it turned out pretty good. It was a pretty cool offer.
TN: Does that offer change your recruitment?
Clark: I’m going to go down there and take a visit, see how it goes from there, but as far as right now, I’m still with my two schools, Alabama and Auburn. I’m trying to find that third one. I got Vanderbilt in there. South Carolina came by the school, too. I’m going to take these visits and try to find that third school that I need to have in.
TN: Why Alabama and Auburn at the top?
Clark: Those are the two schools that have really been on me from the jump. I just feel a lot of family atmosphere, a lot of good people around at those two schools. That’s why those are my top two.
TN: What’s it like living in the state of Alabama with this rivalry?
Clark: There’s nothing like that. The fans are just crazy, outrageous. It’s a very competitive state because there’s only the two college teams in the state, and it’s going to be real competitive either way. Without them having a professional team, it just takes it to a whole different level.
TN: There have been a lot of rumors about your commitment. How do you respond to that?
Clark: About a month ago, everybody was saying I committed to Alabama. The next thing you know, I hear somebody say I committed to Auburn. There’s a lot of negative stuff out there. I just try to stay out of it. They ship my name around to different places. They say I’m still leaning here, I’m still leaning there. A lot of people want to know where I’m going, but when I make my decision, everybody will know.
TN: Where are you at with your decision right now?
Clark: I want to make a decision during the summer, but if it comes down to me not making a decision in the summer, it’s going to be in August. I want to get it done before the season, so I don’t have to worry about everything else. It’s still going to be kind of hectic with other schools even though I’m committed, but at least I’ll get some of it backed off of me.