Monday, June 24, 2013
Clark first D-line commitment for Tigers
By Gary Laney
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Deondre Clark grew up a fan of LSU and its line of star defensive linemen.
Now he'll be part of it.
The four-star defensive end from Oklahoma City's Douglass High school pledged to LSU coach Les Miles on Tuesday night over the phone.
"I've always liked their D-line," said Clark, who visited LSU last summer, making the Tigers one of his early favorites. "I've always been a fan."
So he picked the Tigers over the likes of Alabama, Texas and Florida to be the first LSU defensive line commitment of the 2014 signing class.
He can't wait to join the Tigers.
"I think [Les Miles] is one of the best head coaches in all of college football," he said. He said he plans on arriving at LSU and contending for playing time right away, a selling point from a program that routinely sends underclassmen to the NFL, creating openings for young players to make a quick impact.
This year, LSU lost three underclassmen off its defensive line to the NFL, including first-round draft pick Barkevious Mingo, a defensive end. Clark said LSU's record at producing pro prospects was a big selling point, particularly defensive line coach Brick Haley.
"He's going to get me ready for the next level," Clark said.
LSU signed four defensive ends in the 2013 signing class that included seven defensive linemen total. LSU is likely to sign about four defensive linemen this time. Clark was one of the Tigers' top targets.
Gerald Willis III (New Orleans/Karr), an ESPN 300 pick, remains a priority target. LSU recently added offers to in-state defensive linemen Garrald McDowell (Covington, La./Covington) and Davon Godchaux (Plaquemine, La./Plaquemine), two more ESPN 300 selections.
Godchaux visited LSU on Monday and said he was prodded by Miles to be the "first commitment on the d-line in this class," he said. He resisted, sticking to a timeline that would have him making his choice in December.
Godchaux backed away from earning that distinction and Clark, a lifelong Tigers fan, stepped in.