Maryland football got an early start to the 2022 cycle with New Jersey prospect Amari Clark announcing his pledge Saturday morning.
“I was actually supposed to announce it Thursday,” Clark told Testudo Times. “[Head coach Preston Brown] told me to wait it out and he would tell me when to drop it. We were going to do last night, but I decided to announce it in the morning so everyone to wake up to some good news.”
I want to thank god for giving me the opportunity to be in this position and to make the right decision Thank you to my family friends and everybody that helped me grow into a young man!! Mom I promise I got you❤️IM 100% committed @pgreat81 @CoachLocks @UMD_CoachBaker pic.twitter.com/YDKHPsHqi3— Amari Clark (@amariclark_2) August 8, 2020
Clark is the top players in New Jersey for his class and is ranked as a four-star recruit by Rivals and a high three-star recruit by 247 Sports. The Terps are recruiting Clark as an athlete — offering him the chance to help the team wherever he can.
Maryland extended an offer to Clark back in May 2019 and beat out other programs such as Baylor, Florida, NC State, Penn State, West Virginia and home-state Rutgers.
Clark was able to see College Park back in June 2019, as his team took part in a 7-on-7 tournament on campus.
“As soon as I got there, coach Locks was the first person to greet me,” Clark said. “After we won the tournament, Locks was the first person that came up to me and said he would stay in touch with me.”
Head coach Mike Locksley personally took the lead on Clark’s recruitment, asking Woodrow Wilson’s Brown often if he could get them in contact, according to Clark. New defensive backs coach Henry Baker has also stepped in since arriving in College Park, keeping up with Clark, pushing him to do well academically and reminding him about the flexibility Maryland will give him.
At 6’1, 185 pounds as a rising junior, Clark provides intriguing size at the wide receiver position. He has proven to be a consistent route runner and has soft hands making most catches look easy.
Clark also plays cornerback and strong safety on the defensive side and could be an intriguing prospect there as well in college. He is a hard hitter that covers ground well and adds great hands to any secondary.
“On the offensive side of the ball, I talk a lot,” Clark said. “ On defensive I’m looking to take someone’s head off and make a play.”
A product of Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, Clark becomes the latest pledge from New Jersey — where Locksley and his staff have began to prioritize their talent search. In 2020, the Terps picked up a big-time athlete in defensive back Tarheeb Still and made inroads with a potential gem in wide receiver Nick DeGennaro though a camp offer.
Still was a voice of reason for Clark, telling him “Maryland is the place to be,” Clark said.
Clark is the first pledge for the Terps’ 2022 class and seats the Terps as one of just a handful of programs that have pledges on board this early in the process.