Saturday, June 22, 2013
Gators add ESPN 300 DT Khairi Clark
By Derek Tyson
Florida picked up commitment No. 11 on Saturday when ESPN 300 defensive tackle Khairi Clark (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade Madonna) gave his pledge to Florida head coach Will Muschamp.
The 6-foot-2, 325-pound lineman announced his decision on Twitter and later spoke about the Gators.
Clark, who will be competing at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., June 30 to July 3, said he fell in love with the Gators on his visit.
"I chose Florida because when I went up there, I just fell in love on my visit," Clark said. "Everything from the coaches to the facilities to football, it was all great."
Clark said Florida head coach Will Muschamp was excited to learn of his commitment.
"Coach Muschamp said, 'Khairi, is this for real?' I told him absolutely," Clark said, "and then he just started laughing. He was very excited and happy. He told me he was very excited that he was going to have me a part of the Gator tradition, and he told me I helped the Gators get better by committing today."
Miami and Florida had long-been Clark's favorite schools, and some assumed he would choose the 'Canes because of their proximity to his home. Clark though, said he just felt like Florida was a better fit for him.
"I just felt like it was a better fit at Florida," Clark said. "I just liked it more up there when I took the visit -- they have more to offer. They told me I can help the defense by being the guy that smashes stuff up the middle, or I can play the outside in some of their defensive schemes."
As a junior, Clark accounted for 60 tackles, including nine sacks.
With the addition of Clark, the Gators now have seven commitments in the ESPN 300 including four in the top 150.