Thursday, August 22, 2013

2013 Season Countdown: #7 Frank Clark

Frank Clark (#57)
Name: Frank Clark
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 273 lbs.
High school: Cleveland (OH) Glenville
Position: Defensive end
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #57
Last year: I ranked Clark #32, but I wasn't confident since he was facing charges at the time. He started four games at weakside end and made 25 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 3 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery.

Going into the 2012 season, I thought Clark was the most talented option at weakside end, but he was also the most troubled, since he was being charged with stealing a laptop. Michigan suspended him for the season opener against Alabama, but he turned into a part-time starter. His main competition came from Brennen Beyer, who is supposedly solid against the run but doesn't provide much in the way of big plays. For a backup end, Clark's 9 tackles for loss were pretty good. His season highlight was a free run to destroy Braxton Miller like Charlie Weis destroys a Golden Corral. In the off-season, Clark added some weight and was supposedly up to 277 lbs. this spring; he claims to be 268 now, but the roster lists him at 273.

Regardless of his actual weight, Clark is very powerfully built at only 6'2". Taylor Lewan has talked about the epic battles between himself and Clark, and other players have talked about Clark's speed to track down ball carriers from the opposite side of the field. He has shown flashes of explosiveness and playmaking, but this is the year to show it full-time with Beyer playing SAM linebacker. Clark might end up as one of the top three or four best players on the team, but sophomore Mario Ojemudia was occasionally impressive last year, and true freshman Taco Charlton has wowed observers with his frame and athleticism; there's also a chance that Beyer could move back to weakside end late in the season once Jake Ryan returns from injury. It seems to be quite a deep position when there are people to rotate, but losing Clark for any length of time would be quite a blow to the pass rush. If Clark's as good as people say - and I think he might be - he could be all-conference by the end of the year.

Prediction: Starting weakside end; 50 tackles, 8 sacks


  1. like Charlie Weis destroys a Golden Corral

    Now that's just plain mean .... funny ..... but mean.

  2. Here are the measurables of the top 20 ranked 2013 draft candidates at DE from The top guys drafted weren't much different. 268 is certainly not light for a WDE, particularly considering he's 6'2.

    Ezekiel Ansah DE 6'5¼" 271 Brigham Young 95 1 8
    Barkevious Mingo DE 6'4¼" 241 LSU 93 2 11
    Bjoern Werner DE 6'3¼" 266 Florida State 90 3 23
    Datone Jones DE 6'3⅞" 283 UCLA 90 4 24
    Cornellius (Tank) Carradine DE 6'4⅛" 276 Florida State 89 5 31
    Margus Hunt DE 6'8⅛" 277 Southern Methodist 87 5 42
    Damontre Moore DE 6'4½" 250 Texas A&M 82 7 56
    Alex Okafor DE 6'4½" 264 Texas 77 8 70
    John Simon DE 6'1½" 257 Ohio State 74 9 85
    William Gholston DE 6'6¼" 281 Michigan State 73 10 95
    Sam Montgomery DE 6'3¼" 262 LSU 72 11 96
    Cornelius Washington DE 6'4" 265 Georgia 71 12 105
    Michael Buchanan DE 6'5⅜" 255 Illinois 70 13 109
    Corey Lemonier DE 6'3⅜" 255 Auburn 69 14 114
    Mike Catapano DE 6'3⅜" 270 Princeton 68 15 118
    Devin Taylor DE 6'7" 266 South Carolina 67 16 124
    Quanterus Smith DE 6'4¾" 250 Western Kentucky 66 17 127
    Trevardo Williams DE 6'1¼" 241 Connecticut 61 18 143
    Stansly Maponga DE 6'1⅞" 256 TCU 58 19 157
    Malliciah Goodman DE 6'3⅝" 276 Clemson 56 20 168

    1. Weightwise he's fine, but he's definitely a couple inches short for an NFL WDE. Shouldn't hurt him too much in college, but it could dampen his draft stock even if he has a great year.

    2. The only guys shorter than 6'2" on that list are John Simon and Trevardo Williams, who were 257 and 241 lbs., respectively. Most of those guys who are around 270 or so are at least 6'3" or 6'4".

    3. I think this is a good point. You don't have to be prototypical height to be good player and Clark has adequate bulk now. I don't know why height matters, especially if you have long arms to swat balls (as Clark looks like he does.)

    4. "I don't know why height matters, especially this one facet of the game where height is directly correlated with: length."

      Classic Lanknows - doesn't know what they are talking about.

    5. This is the equivalent of saying Dwight Howard is undersized for center because he is 6'10. We're not talking about someone who is a foot below prototype. Height and length are correlated but not the same thing. Being x inches shorter is easily offset by have y inches longer arms and z inches more leaping ability, not to mention instincts, coordination, awareness and timing. Get outta here "anonymous"

      It amazes me that again and again we see people like Gallon, Kovacs, Molk, Hart, Gold, Howard play lights out and people still whine about prototypical size. Yes, it's nice to have, it's an advantage, but the game is the game and you have to be able to play it - that's what matters most. Most of the fanbase was still calling Gallon a 'slot receiver' last year.

  3. Now we're talking! Frank Clark is an athletic big body who will KNIFE into the back field on a regular basis. This defense is built around getting pressure to the QB from the strong side LB and the weakside DE and Frank Clark is absolutely, IMHO, going to hold up his end of that bargain. I think he locks it down, and when Ryan returns we're going to see Michigan defense become MICHIGAN DEFENSE. Exciting stuff.

  4. I hope that you're right about that sack total. We desperately need a guy like that.

  5. He's an athletic end, I'm sure he'll put up some decent numbers and may even have offenses game-plan around him. I can only hope he doesn't get the team into any trouble off the football field. Where he comes from, and given his history, I don't think he's a real reputable character.

  6. Good writeup and a good spot for Clark. My only quibble is that i think Clark would be missed more against the run game than as a pass rusher, because Ojemudia or Charlton should be good as pass rushers. I'm guessing Clark can be an every-down player and his backups will be more useful as pass-rush specialists until they get bigger (Ojemudia) or more skilled (Charlton).

    1. Ojemudia has reportedly put on 25 lbs since last year.

  7. Guys really who cares about the NFL prospects - with all due respect. A kid who is 2 inches short who runs like a gazelle at 270ish is a prime candidate to be a stud at the college level. We are not here to be a NFL farm team (although yes of course having more NFL prospects) but I could care less than his height is an issue for the New York Jets. I just want him to run over Big 10 tackles, many of which won't get a sniff of the NFL.