A recurring series where we will profile every player on Maryland's roster, counting down to kick-off against William & Mary on September 1. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Today we profile a player who should see some time at safety this year.
Undray Clark, Freshman (RS), Safety, #26
Major: Letters and Sciences
Collegiate Stats: N/A
High School Stats (Senior Year): 72 tackles, five interceptions (two for touchdowns), 218 receiving yards and three touchdowns, two kickoff returns for touchdowns
Recruiting Ratings: Three stars by Rivals, two stars by Scout (#155 S), 24/7 (#201 in FL, #33 S), ESPN (#106 S)
High School: Felix Varela
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
High School Highlights:
Not embeddable, but can be found here.
How'd He Get to College Park?
As far as Floridian football programs go, Felix Varela is not near the top of the list. During his time there, Undray Clark was the star, and helped lead the Vipers to a 5-6 record and their first playoff appearance since 2006 in his senior season, putting up good stats as the safety and slot receiver even after dislocating a finger in the first game of the year. He's another Florida guy for Maryland, and was recruited by Don Brown, and was offered by Duke and Minnesota.
The story behind his recruitment is unclear, but it appears he struggled with consistency in high school (probably in large part due to the disclocated finger). Offers started to fall of the table, and Clark committed to Maryland in July of 2010 in part to get out while the gettin' was good, as Ben B. said at the time.
Clark redshirted last season, and was named defensive scout team player of the week before the Temple game and special teams scout team player of the week before the Notre Dame game.
Undray Clark "Kent"
The state playoffs and scout team player of the week awards immediately come to mind, but there was a great story on the Miami Herald (that is unfortunately no longer there) about how Clark overcame a stuttering problem.
Don Brown leaving for UConn.
Clark fills in well as a back-up to Eric Franklin and is a star on special teams.
A.J. Hendy covers both back-up safety positions and Clark barely plays.
At the very least, Undray Clark provides Maryland with another option in the return game, as he was a star on special teams in high school. No matter what, we'll see him playing in that unit, but he's definitely an option to be the guy returning kicks - he's got the speed, agility and field vision to do it.
Either way, Clark is currently listed as the back-up free safety, the only person behind Eric Franklin. There's only two safeties coming in to the program - Joe Riddle and Anthony Nixon - and it's unlikely that either of them will see playing time in the secondary during their first year on campus. It's reasonable to expect a good amount of playing time for Clark this season, but not enough that the casual Terp fan will notice. Franklin and Matt Robinson, when healthy, are a talented duo in the back of the secondary, and it will be hard for the redshirt freshman to find significant playing time without injuries and/or blowouts.
Fortunately for Clark and unfortunately for Maryland, both of those things are pretty likely at this point. It's possible that he holds on to the free safety position for the next three years (after this one) - we'll see what he's got this season.
Our next player was recruited as a star cornerback but has since moved to safety.