Five-Star Future?

Even though the preseason hype was overwhelming, Massillon (OH) freshman quarterback Danny Clark has actually exceeded expectations this season. Through seven games, Clark is showing the talent that has college recruiters from across the country showing interest.

Perhaps no freshman in Ohio received as much attention and scrutiny prior to playing a down of high school football than Massillon's Danny Clark.

After shining at various summer camps, Clark's varsity debut was eagerly awaited, and he didn't disappoint by throwing a long touchdown pass on his first throw.

Clark, 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, has actually exceeded the lofty expectations and has to be included in the discussion as Ohio's top quarterback regardless of class.

"This year is going good and I'm getting better every week," Clark stated. "I'm more confident and comfortable, but I know I'm a young player with a lot to learn. There are situations I'm unfamiliar with, and I need to continue to get better. We lost to Austintown Fitch last week, and there were things I should have done better in that game."

To be fair, even tough the Austintown Fitch game resulted in a loss, it might have been Clark's finest game as a Tiger. He threw for 359 yards in the losing effort.

With Massillon trailing 30-14 and less than five minutes left in the game, Clark led the Tigers to two scores and nearly pulled the game out in the final minute with an amazing drive. A game-winning throw was nullified by a penalty, and Clark tried to run for a touchdown on the final play when throwing the ball away could have set up a game-tying field goal.

"That mistake at the end was devastating for me, and I don't care about yards and touchdowns, or school records at all," he explained. "I told the team I lost the game and I went home and watched the film of that game. There was some stuff I did well, but that final play still bothers me and I need to learn from that."

"I watched that film over and over, and broke down every thing I did right and every thing I did wrong," he admitted. "That will give me an edge going against older guys, I think, and how I can improve as a player. I need to learn how to react in those type of situations, and next time will be different. I want all the pressure on my shoulders, and I love the game of football, so I can handle it if things go wrong. That's my job as the quarterback."

Although he is still awaiting his first offer, Clark is hearing from some of the top programs in America.

"I've been to Ohio State twice for games. They're looking at me, and we talk all the time," Clark said. "Arkansas wants to have me in for a game and I really like their coaching staff, especially Coach (Nick) Caley. Georgia wants me to come to a game, as does Cincinnati and Michigan State."

"Having Georgia show interest is pretty awesome, and when I got a hand-written letter from their coach it kind of blew me away because it's the SEC," he stressed. "It was a shock because I didn't think they would know anything about some freshman in Ohio. I'd love to visit there for sure, maybe next summer."

"When I look at going to camps next summer, I know I will be going to Arkansas, Ohio State, Michigan State and probably a few more," he concluded. "I'm honored and humbled by these schools, but I know I need to keep working on getting better. That's the most important thing for me right now."

EVALUATION: There is nothing not to like about Danny Clark, and it's stunning to think he is only a high school freshman. He has the size and the ball just explodes off his hand. He needs to continue to work on mobility and his footwork, but this is the best freshman quarterback prospect I've seen in over 30 years of observing Ohio high school football. Even as a freshman, Clark might be the top quarterback prospect in the state.


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