Wednesday, July 10, 2013

2013 Season Countdown: #50 Jeremy Clark

Jeremy Clark
Name: Jeremy Clark
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 201 lbs.
High school: Madisonville (KY) North Hopkins
Position: Safety
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #34
Last year: I ranked Clark #76 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.

Clark entered last year as a long, lanky kid who was told he would get a chance to play cornerback initially. There weren't many 6'4" cornerbacks in the country last year, and there still aren't because he's a safety now. In the spring game, Clark was playing strong safety with the backups. He has filled out a little bit, but there's more room to grow. He also has some developing to do with his coverage and play recognition.

It looks like fifth year senior Thomas Gordon will be the starting strong safety, but one of his backups has moved to SAM linebacker in the form of redshirt freshman Allen Gant. Aside from a couple freshmen, the only other competition for backup strong safety appears to be redshirt junior Josh Furman, who has been unimpressive at every turn. I actually think Clark might be a better option at strong safety despite being two years younger than Furman, but the elder player has been helpful on special teams, which is why Clark sits at #50 and Furman has yet to be profiled. Clark should get his first taste of regular season action, some special teams time, and perhaps be in the mix to start at safety in 2014.

Prediction: Backup strong safety, special teamer


  1. Clark really looked the part physically in the spring game. He is going to wind up pretty big. Look forward to seeing how comfortable he is at safety this fall.

    Clark's development this year could have some strategic importance for the DB group. If he is molded into a starter-quality player, that will give the coaches more flexibility with Dymonte Thomas and later Jibreel Peppers to man the boundary and nickel corner spots, at least early in their careers. I think having studs at those spots could really push this defense to the next level.

  2. This is where I talk about positional flexibility. I would think Thomas gets moved to safety (with Avery at nickel) before Clark starts. I also think Furman's edge in experience is meaningful here, and he'll be the top backup safety that isn't playing elsewhere (i.e., Thomas@nickel).

    Clark is unlikely to see meaningful action outside of special teams, but I do like his long-term potential. Seems a little high for him, but he'll be on the 2-deep list at least.

  3. I still think he could end up at SAM in a couple years, but obviously that would require a lot of weight gain.

    I say this more based on our secondary recruiting going well than anything else. Doubtful that a 6'4 kid can be an effective member of a strong secondary against modern offenses. This coaching staff loves height, but DBs this tall are very very rare.

  4. Clark is a guy that I've been pretty baselessly excited about since he committed as a grey shirt way back when (I remember worrying that he'd bolt if he got offered elsewhere and was glad when they gave him a full scholarship). There's just something too exciting about a guy with his size and his reported speed in the defensive backfield.

    I know he's a flyer type recruit, but I'm glad he's on the team. If he pans out, it'll be awesome. If he doesn't, I think it was worth taking the chance on him.

    1. When I first saw Rivals listed him with a 4.47 40, I was intrigued. If he does have legitimate 4.47 speed at his size, he'll be taking reps pretty soon. Excited to see what he can do on the field.