Sunday, November 16, 2014

Frank Clark has been arrested

As appears to have been first reported by MGoBlog (LINK), Michigan defensive end Frank Clark was arrested late Saturday night/Sunday morning in connection with a domestic violence incident. As far as I know, details of the incident have not been made public.

You may remember that head coach Brady Hoke has handled incidents like this with something more than the typical reaction at Florida State, so I will assume that Clark will be suspended for the upcoming game against Maryland, if not longer. Reference points:

  • Clark himself was suspended for the 2012 season opener against Alabama for stealing a laptop
  • Fitzgerald Toussaint was suspended for that same game for an alcohol-related offense
  • Darryl Stonum was suspended for an entire season (for which he would have redshirted) after dealing with multiple alcohol-related offenses
  • Graham Glasgow was suspended for this season's opener against Appalachian State for an alcohol-related incident
  • Will Hagerup was suspended for the entire 2013 season (for which he redshirted) after some funny business
  • Jake Butt was suspended a couple weeks for a "failure to meet team expectations"
  • Josh Furman and Tamani Carter were suspended from participating in spring practice activities during an investigation in 2012
So yeah. I think it's a safe assumption that Clark will not be playing next Saturday, at the least.

Clark is perhaps Michigan's best defensive player and has 42 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and 2 pass breakups. He would be coming off his best performance of the season against Northwestern, when he had 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and those 2 pass knockdowns.

The backup for Clark is listed as Mario Ojemudia, a junior who had 2 sacks of his own against Northwestern. He has played a good amount of snaps throughout his career and has 24 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks this season. Ojemudia will probably be a starter next season, so the starting job should be in at least decent hands. The problem might arise when Michigan has to rotate other players, which may include redshirt freshman Henry Poggi (1 tackle) or junior linebacker/defensive end Royce Jenkins-Stone (8 tackles). Sophomore Taco Charlton (18 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks) might also be in the running to start, but he has been Brennen Beyer's backup on the other side and is less experienced and consistent than Ojemudia. 


  1. Clark probably won't play, but an arrest doesn't/shouldn't automatically mean a suspension. I would hope and expect that Hoke talks with Clark and gets the story from him. Maybe there's a reasonable explanation. Probably not, but people have been exonerated before and fruitless charges have been leveled against athletes before. Not saying that's the case here (I have no clue.) But it's always a little annoying to see the armchair judges out there jump to sentencing.

    Yes a lot of guys have gotten suspended before, but with the Lewan and Gibbons stuff, plus who knows what else that did not make the papers, lets not pretend Hoke is Mr. Discipline. Plus, one game for DUI seems like a minimal punishment.

    The on-field implications for Michigan are probably good. It's about next year now, so if a returning player, especially a presumed starter gets some extra playing time, that's probably a good thing. Ojemudia and Charlton could use the extra snaps.

    It's unfortunate that Michigan spent the last couple seasons trying to put a natural DE like Jabril Black at DT and now has to play natural DTs like Poggi at DE. Hoke never quite got the personnel where he wanted it. Ah what could have been if Hand had signed on or one of the DLmen we lost to OSU would have stuck. Not landing an elite DE has to be one of the biggest regrets Hoke will have.

    Of course he probably could have fixed this by moving some of his LBing surplus to DE (like he did with Ryan on passing downs in years past) and maybe moving some safeties like Furman and Thomas to LB. But this staff wants to be big more than it wants to be fast.

    Next year, they should go back to the 4-3 under defense they've spent the last 4 years recruiting for, or some other scheme with 3 bigger DL. They don't have the personnel to justify playing two rush-end types...and they probably didn't this year either.


    On the other hand, the best thing for next year is to get those extra practices a bowl game invite allows for, and Clark is one of our best players.

    Maryland looked pretty ragged against MSU. While that ensures nothing against UM, there is a reason for some hope in that game.

    1. Well, I don't see how Hoke can play him unless Clark gets exonerated very very quickly. The chance of that is very very slim, if any.

      As for the team, this makes the slim chance of making a bowl even slimmer, and this makes the very very small chance of beating OSU even smaller.

      As for Clark himself, this mistake probably destroyed his chance at a career at the league. What a $#!@#!@ shame.

    2. He'll get drafted - guaranteed. The NFL draws the line at Murder, and even that, only sometimes. Unless there's a lot more to this than we know (possible) Clark's draft status will be only marginally affected. It's not like we were talking about a 1st rounder anyway. I think he drops from the 3-5 round territory to the 4-6 round territory from something like this, but until we know the facts it's hard to say. What we can say is that the NFL has a track record of letting convicted criminals and domestic abusers play football.

      I don't think Clark has to be exonerated by the courts. I think he'd need to convince Hoke that it is all but guaranteed he will be. It would have to be a misunderstanding of some sort or total BS for Hoke to let him play, but it is possible, IMO.

    3. Having read the report now of what happened, I'd be shocked if he ever suited up for Michigan again.

      I'd still expect him to get drafted but he may fall several rounds as a result, or even end up as a free agent.

  2. Has RJS been playing DE? I hadn't noticed that.

  3. Which coach recruited the perps in your bullet list, above?

    1. It's a mish-mash of coaches. Stonum was recruited by Carr. Toussaint, Furman, Hagerup were recruited by Rodriguez. Clark, Carter, Butt (who, it should be noted, did nothing criminal as far as we know) were recruited by Hoke.

  4. And Larry Foote says we need more players from the "hood". This is what happens when you do that.

  5. What a mess. Everything. It's just a great big mess.

  6. Clark has shown enough that someone will draft him. I bet he would actually do better in a 3 - 4 scheme as a stand up end. He has made a couple stupid life choices so that will knock him down a few rounds, deservingly so, but he still will get a shot at the big league and with straightening himself out.