Print and Go Back ESPN.com: On The Trail: Southeast Region [Print without images]

Friday, October 4, 2013
Scout's Take: Ronnie Clark to Bama

By Tom Luginbill

The Crimson Tide won an in-state recruiting battle Friday, securing the pledge of Under Armour All-American athlete Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera).  Read below to see how our scouts feel Clark will fit into Alabama's plans. What he brings: Range and versatility. Big, physical and athletic with terrific ball skills, but he is not a quick-twitch guy. This is a player who won’t wow you with speed and explosiveness, but his natural feel for the game and ability to line up at multiple positions gives him great value. Has a knack for making plays on the ball on both sides.

How he fits: If he were to play offense, he would be an Alshon Jeffery type with size, strength and the ability to make plays on the jump ball in the red zone. However, defensively he is a safety/linebacker hybrid similar to former Maryland defender Kenny Tate. Can play close to the line of scrimmage in a run support role, but must be cautious with him in man coverage if matched up against smaller, speedier slot receivers.

Reminds us of: Former Maryland S/OLB Kenny Tate.

How is class shaping up: Alabama resides atop the class rankings, which likely isn’t a surprise to anyone. We feel Clark could start out on defense considering there will soon be departures in the secondary with Ha-Ha- Clinton-Dix and Vinnie Sunseri. The Tide have loaded up in the offensive line with No. 1 offensive tackle Cam Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe), No. 1 guard Ross Pierschbacher (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls) and No. 2 center J.C. Hassenauer (Woodbury, Minn./East Ridge). Quarterback and wide receiver have been addressed as well with QB-PP David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./North) and WR Cameron Sims (Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish).