Maryland football: DT Nate Clarke retires due to injuries, will become student assistant coach

Rob Carr

The hulking nose tackle sees his playing career end two years too soon.

Defensive tackle Nate Clarke has retired from football due to injury and will remain with the team as a student assistant coach, the school announced in a press release, ending a disappointing career for the former high-profile recruit.

Clarke was a four-star offensive guard coming out of Archbishop Carroll, and entered 2011 with high expectations at offensive guard after spending a year at Fork Union Military Academy. After redshirting his first season, Clarke moved to defensive tackle, playing on the scout team. As a sophomore in 2013, Clarke played in eight games and recorded two tackles, with one for a loss and a fumble forced.

Clarke was listed third at nose tackle on Maryland's spring depth chart, behind co-starters Darius Kilgo and Keith Bowers and in front of nobody. The Terps have incoming nose tackle David Shaw who may be able to help with depth, but he's a project who would likely be better suited taking a redshirt season. Walk-ons Azuibuke Ukandu and Mike Minter are both options there, but the more likely scenario is redshirt sophomore Roman Braglio, who saw some playing time in the middle last season, helping out with some of the snaps there. Andre Monroe, a former defensive tackle, is another option, but Maryland will likely try and keep him on the strongside at end, where he's proven to be extremely effective.

Next year is an uncertainty at the position, with Kilgo and Bowers both graduating and Clarke, the presumptive starter, gone. Braglio could be an option there as well, with Shaw and new commit Keiron Howard also vying for playing time.

This will not be the only move before fall -- Maryland is still one scholarship over the allotted limit, which means we will see one more player leave the program before kickoff against James Madison.

Our best wishes to Clarke -- keep an eye out for the big guy around the sidelines this season.

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