The West Virginia Mountaineers’ first season in the Big 12 got off to a good start after the team was ranked 11th in the AP preseason poll—the second highest ranking for a team from the conference.
But how can this be for a team whose defense no longer features first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin and Julian Miller, two players who combined for 97 tackles and 14.5 sacks last season?
Well, DT Will Clarke is one reason.
The 6’7” former defensive end will be charged with leading a defense that has lost multiple key components from last year’s 10-3 squad. Despite having started just 11 games in two seasons, Clarke will be one of the more experienced players in the Mountaineers’ new 3-4 scheme.
The redshirt junior recorded 34 tackles and two sacks in 13 games last year.
This season, he’ll have the opportunity to improve on these totals as the team plays a schedule that features five other ranked Big 12 opponents.
Here is what you need to know about Clarke as he helps lead the Mountaineers into their first season in their new conference.