After a lengthy recruiting process with plenty of twists and turns, elite tight end prospect Chris Clark has officially committed to Michigan for the 2015 season.
Clark confirmed his decision on Twitter:
A 4-star prospect, Clark rates as the No. 2 tight end in the class of 2015, per 247Sports' composite rankings. Not surprisingly, he has been a highly coveted player among top college football programs, so the Avon, Connecticut, native essentially had his pick of the litter.
Most ended their pursuit when Clark committed to North Carolina in March, according to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports. Clark later rescinded his commitment, though, and tweeted regarding his availability:
My recruitment is wide open— Chris Clark (@Clark8Chris) April 13, 2014
There was no shortage of potential suitors, but it seemed as though the Big Ten made a run at Clark harder than any other conference. Per 247Sports, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State were among the schools near the top of his list.
Clark's Twitter account backs that up as he met with Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, as seen in this photo:
Coach hoke pic.twitter.com/yCRvnbvay8— Chris Clark (@Clark8Chris) April 18, 2014
Clark also heavily weighed his options between fierce rivals in the form of the Wolverines and Spartans:
Got my two lids today pic.twitter.com/xXq8gq4Sz5— Chris Clark (@Clark8Chris) May 31, 2014
As happy as Clark appears to be with his decision, North Carolina has to feel as though he is the one who got away. According to Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com, Clark made the mistake of committing to North Carolina originally before exploring all the options at his disposal.
"I kind of rushed the decision to commit to North Carolina," Clark said. "It was just one of those things that I didn't really think over or talk to my parents about. When I got home, my mom and dad told me that I owe it to myself to check out more schools because it was early."
Clark certainly has a lot of developing to do, but he already possesses ideal size at 6'6" and 247 pounds. If he can add a bit more muscle to that frame and improve his blocking as well, then he will have all the makings of a complete, superstar tight end.
How will Chris Clark ultimately fare at the collegiate level?
He is also far from a finished product from a receiving perspective. Clark caught 39 passes for 417 yards and six touchdowns in 2013, which is good for a tight end at the high school level, but he wasn't a dominant force by any means.
The excitement surrounding Clark is based largely on potential. Many players never reach their fullest potential, so it is incumbent upon Clark to learn as much as he possibly can and apply it on the field early in his collegiate career.
Clark could be utilized to some degree as a freshman, but he is a developmental player who would benefit more from sitting on the sidelines and developing an understanding for the offense and the intricacies of the college game.
There is still plenty of time for Clark to develop before then as he has another year of high school football left to play. While it won't necessarily prepare him for what he will see in college, Clark has an opportunity to improve in all areas before officially making the jump.
In addition to being an extremely talented player, Clark comes across as a cerebral person who truly understands the game. That bodes well for him moving forward and makes for a good bet that college football fans will be hearing his name quite a bit in the near future.
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