Clark adjusting 'back' to safety

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Ronnie Clark is committed to play safety at Alabama, but for the first time in his career, he's just playing that one spot this week at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game.

Alabama's prized four-star defender commitment, Ronnie  Clark, has played plenty of positions in his high school career.

Calera (Ala.) High used him as a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, linebacker and safety.

But at Alabama, and this week in Montgomery for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game, he's playing in the defensive backfield.

"It's tough to get back used to it, I have to get used to the feeling," he said. "I did a pretty good job the first few times. I'll get better at it.

"I can't even give myself a grade."

Through three practices, Clark has more than held his own in coverage, and he's even more comfortable against the run. But he's trying to hone in on the entire skill-set this week before the Under Armour All-America game later this month and of course college.

"There's some stuff I need to work on like footwork, for college, but I'm playing basketball right now so that's helping out," he said. "But playing safety is great."

Five-star Marlon Humphrey and four-star Auburn commitment Stephen Roberts have been flanking him at cornerback most of the week, and he's looking to learn from the more polished prospects.

"The backfield is lock down," Clark said. "When you have Marlon and Stephen on each side, it's championship corners right there. They're both great, good hips, feet and good technique.

"But I watch everybody, if I see something he (Humphrey) does well that I can try and do, I will. His turns, his hips are great. With me playing safety, I have to get back used to doing it."

While learning from three current state champion coaches and some of the best defensive backs in Alabama, the 6-foot-3, 218-pounder is also looking to enjoy the moment.

"Just having fun, having a good time," he said. "Enjoying a week off of school, a week away from home. Then at the game, we'll be ready."

Clark remains firmly committed to Alabama, where he will take his official visit on January 17, and Dough Nussmeier visited him last week.

"Nuss came by. He saw how I was going in basketball, just talked about normal stuff," he said. "He's laid back, he's a cool cat. He's got a little swag about him. We're cool, everyone's cool down there.

"Most of the staff is kind of laid back, but when it comes time to play they take care of business."

Despite a tough Iron Bowl loss on the record, the projected outside linebacker views the Crimson Tide's 2013 campaign as a success.

"I think it was a great season, the last loss was a hard-fought game," Clark said. "Sometimes you can't do anything about it, but it was an 11-1 season. Getting 10 wins is good.

"I was just watching the game...I learned from both Auburn and Alabama."

Alabama's best take on Mississippi on Saturday at noon, CST.

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