With the commitment of Ronnie Clark, the Alabama Crimson Tide got a great athlete who projects to be a quality outside linebacker on the college level.
Michael Casagrande of AL.com hits us with the news:
Ronnie Clark commits to Alabama over Auburn.— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) October 4, 2013
Clark is a 4-star recruit in 247 Sports' composite rankings, and he is ranked fourth in his class at outside linebacker.
The Calera, Ala. product is 6'3" and 210 pounds. In high school, he has been a factor on both sides of the ball. On offense, he's been used out of a Wildcat backfield, but if he plays on offense he would be best suited at wide receiver. There he would be able to use his size and his quality hands and ball skills.
He is not overly explosive, however. He has decent top-end speed for his size, but wouldn't be able to blow by anyone on the college level. So he is likely to find his home on defense, but even then his position is not set in stone.
He can play safety or outside linebacker. His ball skills and hands serve him well as a safety, but he will again be limited there by his elite explosion.
This leads us to linebacker. He will have to add some bulk to be an every-down linebacker, but he has the frame to support that gain.
As a linebacker, his ceiling is through the roof. He will be elite in coverage as he could go man with backs and tight ends, and excel in zones. With some good coaching, he could also be a factor in the pass rush.
He has solid tackling skills and takes good angles. He will have to add strength to be able to shed blockers, but again, this should come as he bulks up.
So while his future position in college is a bit in doubt, the fact that he belongs on the major college football stage is not.