Today we profile a defensive lineman who was a squad teamer last season.
Nate Clarke, Sophomore, Defensive Lineman, #71
Twitter: None that we could find
Collegiate Stats: N/A
High School Stats (Senior Year): 77 tackles, nine sacks, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, 18 pancakes
Recruiting Ratings: Four stars by Rivals (#2 in DC, #10 OG), three stars by Scout (#58 DT)
High School: Archbishop Carroll by way of Fork Union Military Academy
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
High School Highlights: N/A
How'd he get to College Park?
Nate was initially recruited to College Park as an offensive lineman and a good one at that, at least if you believe the rankings Rivals (4 star) and Scout (3 stars) gave him. ESPN & 24/7 on the other hand didn't rank him...at all. But that really didn't matter much because Clarke is now playing defense.
Clark was actually born in College Park so you could literally say he stayed home for college. He initially played more basketball than football and didn't step foot into the gridiron until his sophomore year of high school. While he had great size, he wasn't exactly a speedster, which his coach confirmed to the Sun's Matt Bracken by revealing his nickname was "Frankenstein feet." But Clarke was able to get past that and transformed into a quick, versatile player who played well on either side of the ball.
During his freshman year at Maryland, many thought Clarke, who initially was focused on playing o-line, was close to getting playing time after winning a few offensive scout team player of the week awards. But Nate ended up redshirting and moved over to the defensive side of the ball in 2012, where he again was a scout team player but has the opportunity to contribute and see playing time this season.
Winning two scout team offensive player of the week awards his freshman year
Clarke becomes a stud nose tackle who takes over as the starter, recording 8 sacks and becoming a force to be reckoned with inside.
Nate is now the #2 nose guard behind Darius Kilgo and should thus see his first collegiate action of his career this season, even if it's primarily in a back up role. Even as a backup, you can expect to see #71 on the field a decent amount in 2013, hopefully recording a few sacks, and develop into a great run stopper.
Our next player was ranked as a top 40 DE by Scouts in
2010 2011 and has some big shoes to fill as a starter in 2013.
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