Clinkscales on Oregon: ‘It was an honor'
Terrell Clinkscales believed he was primed for a big sophomore campaign at Dodge City (KS) Community College. But he never thought it would be like this. "I knew I was going to come out and have a big year," the four-star defensive tackle said. "But I didn't know there would be so many schools looking for me to help their programs. You dream for your recruitment to be through the roof. I'm just taking it all in, trying to stay humble." Clinkscales has been a force this season for the Conquistadors. The standout defender racked up 36 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, and a blocked kick. Division 1 programs have taken notice, with several SEC and Big 12 schools extending scholarship offers. But it was a call from a Pac-12 power that really turned his head. "It was an honor," he said of his Oregon offer. "They are always in the top three every year. When you get that phone call, you know you are doing something right." "Coach Aiken offered me the first time we spoke," Clinkscales said of the Ducks assistant coach. "He said ‘We are looking for a big nose tackle that can work their way in.' They like that I'm big, fast, and he thinks I can come in and maybe start right away." Despite the program's reputation for being one of the most prolific offensive teams in the nation, the Chicago native knows the Ducks have turned out some big-time players on the other side of the football. "When I think about Oregon, I think about offense. But with Haloti Ngata, and Dion Jordan that came out last year," he trailed off, shaking his head. "I want to watch more film and see what my role would be in the scheme." Clinkscales believes his understanding of the game is one of the things that sets him apart. "I read keys really well," he said with a smile. "A lot of guys, that's not a focus. I know the game. I come off the ball, and I focus on coming aggressive. I use my hands so well, I rarely get cut. I'm strong, I'm physical, I'm dominant, the way a D-tackle should play." The four-star prospect is a rare physical specimen among defensive tackles. A sculpted 6-foot-4, 315-pounds, Clinkscales has worked hard to build himself into one of the top prospects in the JUCO ranks. "There are some fat guys that can play," he said of some of the larger tackles. "I can't be like that. I'm an All-State wrestler, and I know the look I want. I focus on my diet, being athletic and strong. I can't do that out of shape look."
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