Friday, June 24, 2011

Jeremy Clark, Wolverine

Jeremy Clark
Jeremy Clark, a safety from Madisonville, KY, accepted a greyshirt offer to play football at Michigan.  Clark camped at U of M this past week, and the coaches were impressed enough to give him a chance to join the football team.  With the 2012 class getting nearer and nearer to completion, there aren't enough scholarships to go around right now if all of Michigan's desired pieces flal into place.  In a greyshirt situation, the student-athlete must pay his own tuition for the first semester of college (Fall 2012 in Clark's case), but he will receive scholarship aid beginning in January 2013.

Clark is a 6'4", 205 lb. prospect at North Hopkins High School.  He reportedly runs a 4.47-second forty yard dash, which is exceptional for a kid that size . . . and also probably exaggerated.  Prior to the opportunity at Michigan, he had full scholarship offers from Akron, Ball State, Central Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina State, Ohio, and Toledo.  Clark says that he won't succumb to advances from other schools that want to give him a full ride from the beginning, but if his stock continues to soar (he had zero FBS offers up until a couple weeks ago), I can see that coming into question.  

Last season Clark had 75 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 8 pass breakups for North Hopkins, which finished with a record of 5-6.

You can take a look at Clark's highlights below, but there's not a whole lot of excitement on my end right now.  His coach stated that Clark has grown three inches in the last year, and apparently not too many college coaches were too enamored with him until he started camping.  So there's a very good chance that his body has matured throughout the offseason, and if he's done some work on his own in the film room, he might have improved some of his weaknesses, too.  But from what I see here, he's slow to read plays, slow to react at times, takes questionable pursuit angles, doesn't have the greatest of playmaking abilities, doesn't hit hard with consistency (although there are a couple nice blows), and doesn't wrap up when he tackles.  Overall, he looks like a good high school player, but not worthy of high-level FBS interest.

From the way it sounds, Clark is in line to receive a full scholarship offer from Michigan if Akron, OH, safety Jarrod Wilson chooses Penn State or Notre Dame.  If Wilson commits to the Wolverines, then the greyshirt scenario will take place.  So keep an eye out for Wilson's decision, which should be soon.

TTB Rating: 49 (rating system here)


  1. Pretty low rank. Considering he takes up a slot on the '12 or '13 class, do you question this move by the staff?

    Regardless of Clark's ability, I sort of like the idea of using grey-shirts for marginal 3-star caliber prospects. Oregon State and other schools have done this for a while, especially to get their OL an extra year of development and strength.

    Obviously though, you hate to see people like Pittman, Morgan, and Reeves turned away due to lack of available spots (not sure that's true, but its a feasible scenario).

    What's your opinion on this development in terms of overall recruiting strategy?

  2. @ Lankownia 4:39 p.m.

    Yes, I do question it. But if I see film of his senior year and he's improved significantly, then my tune might change. When I was watching his film, I thought to myself, "Yeesh, how long has this kid been playing football?" He's extremely raw, but if he's only been playing for a year or two, then that would explain it.

    I understand the greyshirt track for offensive linemen and/or defensive linemen, but at the skill positions, you either have it or you don't. Safeties do tend to improve as they get older, and I like safeties who are upperclassmen and have experience...but if you're not good at football, you're not good at football.

    I'm not a fan of this development, but Mattison has a track record of success when it comes to defense, so I'm not too angry about it right now.

  3. Good point. But I guess if any safety is going to 'get it' later on, it's probably a guy who is a 'late bloomer' physically, or mentally.

    Watching his highlight tape, he doesn't appear to have elite speed at all, but he at 6'4 he does seem to be whatever you'd call the opposite of a long-strider. I could see him growing into an heir to Cam Gordon's LB position.

    Which brings up another inkling of concern I'm having...Rodriguez made a big mistake with his fetish for slot receiver resulting in way too many scholarships being allocated to the position. I'm starting to worry, especially with Clark, Gant, and Ojemudia potentially ending up at LB, that this coaching staff has a similar fetish for LBs. They already had a ton on the roster (with all they added late in the '11 class) and then take 4 more in this class. Not sure that's the right course of action.

  4. @ Lankownia 5:12 p.m.

    I agree that it's overkill at the LB position. Maybe they think some of the existing LB's will be making an early exit...

  5. "I sort of like the idea of using grey-shirts for marginal 3-star caliber prospects."

    Why is it any better to have a marginal 3-star prospect on next year's roster than on this year's?

  6. If he grew three inches last year, there's a definite chance he could pack on enough weight in a couple of years to end up at linebacker or tight end. I guess if Mattison thinks he can coach the guy, fine.

  7. Thunder/Magnus

    It seems to me that you're not all that excited by the recruiting class so far, generally. True? Most fans are astounded that Hoke & Co. are getting so many commits so soon. 'course that doesn't mean the recruits are good.

    Anyway MGoBlog noted that Clark wasn't highly recruited but supposedly did very well in UM's football camp against other top recruits.

  8. @Anon

    A 3-star prospect, with the additional year of seasoning, training, maturing, growth, acclimation, etc. is better than a 3-star prospect without it. The benefit of a grey-shirt is that a guy gets to develop before the clock starts ticking on his eligibility. So, in theory, after a grey-shirt year, a red-shirt year, a guy could be a 22 year old 6th year senior and still helping your team. Or, to think of it a different way, if his grey-shirt year replaces his red-shirt year, you effectively get to run more players through your program because you're only using 4 scholarship-years on one guy instead of 5 for the same return.

    You rarely get much productivity out of a first-year scholarship and the grey-shirt makes that issue go away...but yeah, the bottom line is still getting productive players.

  9. @ Aonymous 7:10 p.m.

    I don't know why you get the impression that I'm not excited about the recruiting class. Just because I don't predict every single one of them to be 1st round picks doesn't mean I don't like the class in general. This will probably end up being Michigan's best class in the last half a dozen years or so.

  10. He's fast and (looks to be) built like a d1 receiver. In a few years we're going to be really needing someone like him in our offense, and I really think he could be a good one.

  11. I coached Jeremy in the 85 pound class. I guarantee you that he will grow into to his body. Make him an outside linebacker like I did.