2011 Countdown: #80 Frank Clark

Tag: Frank Clark

10Jun 2011
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2011 Countdown: #80 Frank Clark

Frank Clark

Name: Frank Clark
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 210 lbs.
High school: Glenville Academic Campus
Position: Linebacker
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #57
Last year: Clark was a high school senior (commitment post here)

TTB Rating: 59

Clark was one of those kids that a lot of Michigan fans were excited about because getting him would mean a foot in the door at a school full of talent.  The only issue is that Clark is just kind of a so-so prospect compared to some of the talent that comes from Glenville.  There weren’t many highlights available for him, but the ones we did see weren’t overwhelming.

Clark could play any number of positions at Michigan, depending on what the needs are and how big he gets. He could play strongside linebacker, weakside end, or tight end.  He’s still thin and needs to bulk up, so his best chance for playing in 2011 would be to show some promise as a special teamer.

Prediction: Redshirt

7Feb 2011
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2011 Recruiting Awards

Offensive guard Chris Bryant

This is something I do every year, and it’s a fun exercise for me:
2009 Recruiting Awards
2010 Recruiting Awards

Best overall recruit:  OG Chris Bryant
Bryant has the size, strength, footwork, and athleticism to be a great offensive lineman at Michigan.  As long as he can get rid of some of his bad weight and stay well conditioned throughout his career, I think he’ll be an All-Big Ten player by the end of his career.

Best offensive recruit: Bryant
See above.

Best defensive recruit: CB Blake Countess
Countess isn’t the biggest or fastest kid out there, but he’s got a good quality for a cornerback – sticky.  Receivers just don’t seem to get away from him.  He probably needs to bulk up before playing (we all saw what happened to Courtney Avery and Terrence Talbott last year), but he could be a slot corner early in his career before taking over on the outside after a year or two.

Recruit most likely to make an early impact: K Matt Wile
If former walk-on Seth Broekhuizen or redshirt sophomore Brendan Gibbons steps up his game, then Wile might not be needed as a freshman.  But those first two combined for 4-for-14 on field goals last season.  It’s also entirely possible that Wile will redshirt as a freshman, but Michigan returns the vast majority of its two-deep from last season, so a lot of these 2011 recruits will probably be redshirted.  Wile seems like the best candidate.

Fastest recruit: CB/S Raymon Taylor
Taylor reminds me of departing cornerback James Rogers in many ways.  While Taylor is probably more physical, he has good straight-line speed and a smooth stride. 

Strongest recruit: Bryant
Bryant reports a bench press of 395 pounds and a squat of 420.  Even if he couldn’t bench press Charlie Weis, all Bryant had to do with most high schoolers was get a hand on them and they fell to the ground, begging for mercy.

Best under-the-radar recruit: LB Desmond Morgan
Michigan has a good history with linebackers from western Michigan, and I like the fact that Morgan was a bulldozing quarterback in high school.  Quarterbacks just seem to understand the game better.  I think there will be a good battle for the middle linebacker job between Morgan and classmate Kellen Jones once redshirt junior Kenny Demens graduates.

Most overrated recruit: LB Frank Clark
The problem with this “award” is that nobody’s rated very highly.  And while my choice if Rich Rodriguez were here would be Justice Hayes, I actually think Hayes will fit better in Hoke’s system than that of Rodriguez.  I don’t think Hayes is a threat to start anytime soon, but he could be a very good change-of-pace back.  So I’m going to go with Clark, who is only a 3-star.  But I haven’t seen anything from Clark that shows me he’s going to be a successful college football player, especially as a linebacker.  If he were rated as a 2-star recruit, I probably wouldn’t bat an eyelash.  He has some potential with his size and speed, but he needs a lot of coaching.

Personal favorite recruit: LB Antonio Poole
This kid looks like the future at weakside linebacker.  He can run, he can hit, and best of all, he plays downhill.  He might have to bide his time for a couple years, but he might be the second coming of Larry Foote.

3Feb 2011
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Frank Clark, Wolverine

Frank Clark is narrow.

Frank Clark, a linebacker from Cleveland, publicly committed to the Wolverines on Wednesday morning.  Clark had been rumored to be a silent commitment since the weekend of January 21st when he made an official visit to Ann Arbor.  Hailing from Glenville Academic Campus, the 6’3″, 210 pounder is Glenville’s first product to sign with Michigan since Pierre Woods in 2001; Glenville typically funnels its players to Ohio State or . . . well . . . anywhere but Michigan.

A 3-star prospect to each of the three major recruiting services, Clark chose Michigan over offers from California, Michigan State, Minnesota, North Carolina, and others.  But each recruiting service ranked Clark at a different position – linebacker, tight end, and defensive end.

In Brady Hoke’s press conference today, he called Clark a linebacker.  So I’m going to assume he’s a linebacker.  And I’m going to base my opinions on seeing approximately 60 seconds of film on Clark, who doesn’t have a great deal of film out there in cyberspace.  So here we go:

I’m somewhat indifferent.  There’s a quote from Ed Orgeron (the famed USC defensive line coach, Ole Miss head coach, renowned recruiter, etc.) in Meat Market that says something like, “You can’t look at technique stuff when you’re recruiting.  As a coach, you have to think you can coach him up.”

Well . . . that’s probably a good thing for Clark.  He seems to be a decent athlete (a reported 4.52 in the forty, which is a good time but probably a bit of a lie), but he’s about as raw as raw can be.  As a defensive end, he gets his shoulders turned regularly.  He’s not an extremely aggressive tackler.  He doesn’t wrap up ballcarriers.  Maybe Glenville doesn’t employ a defensive line coach.  I don’t know.

To be honest, I can’t really project Clark anywhere.  He could be a strongside linebacker, where he would be rushing the quarterback off the edge.  He could be a weakside linebacker, too, but I haven’t seen him take on any lead blocks from fullbacks, fill any running lanes, etc.  He could be a career special teamer, since he’s decently fast and might be able to hit hard. 

Regardless, he’ll probably need a few seasons to bulk up and learn whatever position he plays.  My expectations are low, but Ed Orgeron probably has a lot of deep thoughts about a kid like Clark, thoughts that are unintelligible to northerners.  If you’re a fan of The Office, take Andy Bernard’s accent when he was playing Belles, Bourbon, and Bullets; lower his voice an octave; speed him up by 50%; and toss some kitty litter down his throat.  That’s a pretty close approximation of Orgeron.

Or you can Youtube him.  That would probably be easier.

Yep, it was.

TTB Rating: 59