Sunday, March 3, 2013
Watch List DE Deondre Clark lists top five
By Bob Przybylo
YUKON, Okla. -- The priorities are simple for the Clark brothers at Oklahoma City Douglass. The player-coach relationship means more than anything else.
It’s the reason Oklahoma State was able to nab ESPN 100 point guard Stevie Clark for its 2013 class, as OSU coach Travis Ford and the Clark family have developed that tight bond.
ESPN Watch List defensive end Deondre Clark likes five schools -- almost all in the SEC.
But where it has helped one Clark brother stay in the state, it’s a big reason the other one intends to look elsewhere.
ESPN Watch List defensive end Deondre Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass) said Saturday night that neither OSU nor Oklahoma are in his top five.
Despite the fact that his brother will be a Cowboy, Deondre has been adamant that it won’t play a factor in his recruiting. And he has been consistent with that.
But the Sooners not being in his top five is a recent development, and it stems from coaching changes.
“OU was one of my top five schools,” Clark said. “But Coach [Jackie] Shipp got fired so I’m not interested in OU anymore.
“It hurt me a lot. I don’t know what the new defensive line coach is going to be like. We’ll just have to see.”
The Clark family had developed a strong trust in Shipp. Deondre attended OU’s first junior day in February and said then the Sooners were still among his favorites.
Less than two weeks later, Shipp was one of three assistant coaches let go by OU, and the Sooners hired former Michigan defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery to replace him. But when Montgomery tried to open the lines of communication with Clark a few days ago, Douglass coach Willis Alexander let Montgomery know Clark is not interested.
So what schools do have Clark interested? It’s almost all SEC right now.
“LSU, Texas A&M, USC, Ole Miss and Georgia -- that’s my top five right now,” Clark said.
LSU offered Clark in the summer, and he made an unofficial visit with his mother to the school in July. He admitted then he almost considered committing right then and there.
The Trojans and Aggies have both offered within the last the month, while the Rebels and Bulldogs have offered in the last week.
Clark has offers from big-time schools like Notre Dame and Texas, but it’s clear the SEC has him the most intrigued.
“It’s overwhelming, but it’s a lot of fun to know they’re looking at me as one of the best players in the country,” Clark said. “It’s a blessing. I just have to keep working hard and put God first.”
Two schools that have been in a lot of contact with Clark but haven’t made an offer are South Carolina and Alabama. Clark said he would really offers from those two schools.
Clark had 99 tackles and 22 sacks as a junior, but because of basketball he has only been to the two in-state junior days.
For the next week Clark is focused on helping him, Stevie and the rest of Oklahoma City Douglass try to win its fourth consecutive Class 4A Oklahoma state basketball championship. The state tournament begins Thursday with Oklahoma City Douglass in prime position to four-peat.
After that, though, Clark said it’s all about going down South for the spring.
“I want to visit Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas A&M, LSU again and maybe Auburn,” Clark said. “I’m getting like 30 letters per day from different schools. I go through them and read all the handwritten ones.”
Clark said he has developed the best relationship right now with the LSU coaching staff. And he is trying to end this process sooner rather than later.
“I’m actually trying to get it done before my senior season,” Clark said. “I want to have my commitment out of the way so I can enjoy my senior season.”