Clark arrived later, but ready to play

It took a while for Jeremy Clark to arrive to Tuscaloosa, but now that he's here, he's ready to make an impact.

Clark signed with the Tide in February, but had some qualifying issues. He did make the qualifying score, but was unable to make it to Tuscaloosa this summer for voluntary workouts.

"It was a long summer," Clark said after reporting on Sunday. "I'm glad to finally be here. I'm ready to get everything started."

Clark (# 99) works at defensive end.

"I was talking to the coaches, and we had a few problems. They said it was better to wait until August. The cost of summer school was too high, so Coach (Kenith) Pope said it would be better to wait until August.

Now Clark is here, having just gone through his first practices with the freshmen. The coaches have made an impact on him already, with their tough style of coaching.

"The coaches are tough on you," Clark said. "They want you to be the best you can be. They try to push you the way you think you can not be pushed. They get you better every day. I like being coached hard. I tell the coach to push me hard."

Clark played his high school ball at Daphne High School, the winners of the 6A State Championship last season, and runners-up to Hoover the year before. Considered one of the best defensive linemen in the state, Clark totaled 80 tackles and nine sacks his senior year. He was selected to the Tuscaloosa News Sweet Sixteen; Birmingham News Dandy Dozen; Mobile Press Register Elite Eighteen; Birmingham Post-Herald Ten Most Wanted and the Montgomery Advertiser Elite Eleven squads.

When Clark was a freshman, he played varsity ball with current Tide defensive linemen Kenny King and Atlas Herrion.

Clark (# 99) and Allen Long (# 46, walk-on linebacker) listen to instructions.

"When I was a freshman, they were seniors," Clark said. "I had a chance to mingle with Atlas, he lived right around the corner. I got to know Kenny better during track season."

Clark, who threw the shot put in high school in addition to football, said that while King and Herrion did not influence him to come to Alabama, he is glad to be on the same team with them again.

"They did not influence my decision," Clark said. "Kenny told me to go wherever I felt comfortable with. I can rely on them and the rest of my defensive line."

Clark was able to get to know some of his teammates while playing in the Alabama-Mississippi High School All-Star game earlier this summer. He said he would be rooming with wide receiver Marcus McKnight, the newest scholarship player. The newcomers on the defensive line include Clark, Chris Harris, Kyle Tatum, and sophomore transfers Ahmad Childress and Taylor Britt. This brings up the question of where the 6-3, 280 pound lineman will fit in.

"I project at end, but I'll play wherever they need me," Clark said.

"But, I like end."

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