Friday, June 15, 2012

2012 Season Countdown: #76 Jeremy Clark

Jeremy Clark (#2)
Name: Jeremy Clark
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 205 lbs.
High school: Madisonville (KY) North Hopkins
Position: Safety
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #34
Last year: Clark was in high school.  He had 70 tackles, 15 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, 3 interceptions (3 touchdown returns), and 1 fumble recovery (for a touchdown).

Final TTB Rating: 59

Clark was a high school superstar last season, a free safety who put up very good numbers and made his opponents look downright silly at times.  He hit a growth spurt between his junior and senior seasons, and Michigan's coaches latched on before anyone else could.  Clark accepted a grayshirt opportunity at Michigan before a real scholarship opened up, and before too long, Clark was a full-fledged scholarship recipient.

The last time we saw Clark, he was a little bit gangly.  For a kid who's 6'3" or 6'4", his ideal weight is probably around 215-220 lbs.  Clark is also a kid who looked a little raw in high school, which is somewhat understandable because most of his opponents were completely outmatched by his athleticism; he got by on being bigger and faster than everyone, not necessarily by being more fundamental.  Clark could probably use a season to add some bulk, and perhaps more time to refine his technique.  But if he shows enough aggression and the desire to hit people, he could find an opportunity to play on kickoff coverage.

Prediction: Redshirt

(UPDATE: Conveniently, Andrew will be interviewing Clark in a couple days, so leave a question that you might have for Andrew to ask.)


  1. Glad to see you've come around, a little bit, on Clark. He's a prospect I'm excited about. That said, there's no way he plays this year.

    I'll eat a lemon if he does (Note: I like eating lemons, so I probably will anyway.)

    Everyone's read on Clark includes "raw" and "skinny". He's behind about 7 guys at safety including another freshman (highly regarded early enrollee and compliment-magnet Jarred Wilson) and ... he was offered a gray-shirt for crying out loud.

    -Marginally rated prospect,
    -Severe need to improve physically,
    -at a position that not only has a loaded depth chart, but also puts a premium on experience.

    Add it up and he's one of likeliest red-shirts (outside of OL) that I can remember in many years. I'm OUTRAGED that he is preposterously high on the list.

    I appreciate that his athleticism makes him a potentially attractive special teamer, but I'm not buying that argument for 2012. He's (clearly, given the grayshirt thing) not an impatient guy that insists on playing immediately. There's already a ton of athletic backup LBs and DBs that can serve that role without burning a red-shirt. The program's at a spot where special teams aren't a choice between true freshman or walk-ons anymore. Carter and Gant may not be as fast (maybe) but are both stronger and closer to their ceilings (i.e. benefit less from red-shirting) than Clark. Wilson's going to play. Robinson and Furman are still there. A bunch of incoming LBs want to play (and probably will)... There's no way Clark leapfrogs all those guys. And even if he does, the coaches see the big picture. They know that the marginal gain of him as a special-teamer isn't worth losing a year of potential impact starter down the line.

    1. Yea, especially with Jarrod Wilson's EE status and getting those spring reps he'll be much more likely to play. As far as special teams, you never know til this kid hits campus. I agree with your point though, there are certainly more athletic backup DB's and LB's who are now experienced special teamers to fill that role. But who knows? Delonte Hollowell was my special teams POY last year as a wayyy buried backup freshman DB so you never can tell...

    2. Yep, but I think Hollowell's situation is still partially about depth. Now that we're restoring it (on defense especially) fewer true freshman need to play. A guy like Richardson can red-shirt because a guy like Hollowell is already there to play that role on special teams.

      But never know.

  2. This staff seems to be targeting tall safeties (at least given Wilson and Clark... Dymonte is more of a strong safety IMO, though at 6'1 he's not short). What is their strategy here and do you agree with it?

    1. I think they're just trying to get bigger. We've been undersized at safety for the past few years (Vinopal, Kovacs, Gordon, etc.), and I think that hurts you a little bit in pass coverage and supporting the run. Kovacs and Gordon are both pretty good tacklers, but I think Vinopal was just okay; Vinopal was a willing hitter and just a freshman, but he was small-ish nonetheless.

      Also, looking back on guys like Jonas Mouton and Prescott Burgess, they were high school safeties who turned into pretty darn good linebackers. I'm not necessarily suggesting that Clark will be Prescott Burgess, but there's a chance, I guess.

    2. According to Scouts Inc - the NFL's 6 best safeties are all 5'11 or under. Of the top 30 safeties - only 4 are 6'2 or taller.

      I've said it before - this coaching staff is overly concerned with size at the skill positions and in the secondary. I get it in the trenches, but elsewhere - it's speed that matters more.

    3. Well I guess that's why they're coaching Michigan football and we are fans :)