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Cowboys score No. 2 player in Kansas

12/16/2011

Bedlam and all it had to offer sold Trace Clark (Wichita, Kan./Collegiate) on Oklahoma State. He wanted to pass the message on to Cowboys coach Mike Gundy in person, and did so late Thursday night.

Clark, a three-star defensive end and Kansas’ second-ranked player in the 2012 class, verbally committed to Oklahoma State with Gundy in Wichita on an in-home visit. A 6-foot-5, 240-pound senior, Clark visited Stillwater, Okla., during the weekend of Dec. 2, when Oklahoma State defeated Oklahoma, 44-10, in the annual Bedlam matchup.

“I think they won me over with my official visit,” Clark said of Oklahoma State. “I had already felt good about the coaches and school, but I got to hang out with some of the players and talk about the academics. Seeing them beat up on OU, that kind of helped me, too.

“I had my mind made up after talking to my parents after getting home from my visit. I really sat down on Sunday and looked at all schools. We called Coach Gundy and asked if he could come in this week, and he said he could make it on Thursday.”

Clark chose the Cowboys over offers from Iowa, Stanford, Kansas, Kansas State, Oregon and Purdue. Clark had narrowed his choices to Oklahoma State, Iowa and Stanford prior to his official visit.

Recruited by defensive coordinator Bill Young, Clark said hanging out with on-campus host and Oklahoma State cornerback Devin Hedgepeth served as a huge assist in the verbal pledge. Hedgepeth is an engineering major, which is what Clark wants to earn his degree in. Hedgepeth, additionally, is from Derby, Kan., which is minutes from Wichita.

“The whole visit was a blast, but I really got a lot of insight on how [Hedgepeth] handles a difficult major with playing football,” Clark said. “I also asked how he handles the distance from home.”

Clark said having Gundy in attendance for his announcement further validated his pledge. Clark became the Cowboys’ 16thcommitment.

“He was very excited,” Clark said of Gundy. “He said some of other coaches wanted to come, but he wanted to be the one to seal the deal, and that’s what he did.”