When Bishop Heelan sophomore running back Saybein Clark was asked to walk to the office with his head coach and strength coach last Friday, he figured they’d call Iowa State and discuss a potential visit.
He was in for a surprise.
Clark and his coaches dialed up Iowa State’s Director of Iowa High School Relations Mitchell Moore, who had a much bigger message.
“We get on the phone and we just started talking and he was like, ‘Hey, I’m going to cut to the chase. We’re going to offer you,’” Clark said. “I was just sitting there smiling ear to ear because I did not expect that.”
Clark shortly after notified his parents.
“I tried to call my dad up and my dad is not the type of guy to be all lovey-dovey, but I knew that he was really proud of me,” Clark said of the reaction. “My mom freaked out. Being a cheerleader coach, she kind of has the energy and just gave off all that joy and I could just tell she was ecstatic about it.”
The 2018 prospect is wrapping up his sophomore year of high school, but the Cyclones have wasted no time getting involved. Clark is one of Iowa State’s first offers for the 2018 class and one of only four in-state prospects to date.
After rushing for 1,666 yards and 19 touchdowns on 239 carries (7.0 yards per carry) for Bishop Heelan last fall, Clark figured to be an emerging prospect in the state. Though he never anticipated getting such a call so early.
Iowa State had defensive coordinator Jon Heacock in Sioux City last Thursday, where he watched Clark work out during the spring evaluation period.
“They said that they liked my size and all my athletic abilities and stuff and how I work out and me being so young right now and showing what I can already do is really good for them,” Clark said. “They’re offering me at the running back position, but they said I could play multiple positions like wide receiver or something because I have the size for it.”
Clark has visited Iowa State previously with his brother, Odessa, who was a senior receiver last season at Bishop Heelan and who will soon head to Wayne State. That initial trip to Ames left the younger Clark impressed.
“What really caught my eye were the facilities that were there. I think they’re absolutely beautiful, especially when we went inside the practice field, it was kind of breathtaking for me because I’ve never seen anything like that,” Clark said of the trip. “Their weight room is pretty phenomenal also.”
Clark’s recruitment is still in its infancy after his first offer rolled in, but there have been rumors of Texas and North Dakota State being interested. Following his breakout sophomore season, and with two years remaining, Clark’s offer list will certainly grow, but the first offer carries significance.
“I’d love to create a relationship with Iowa State because they’re the first school that’s shown interest in me, so that means a lot,” Clark said. “It means they know of me and they really want to build a relationship with me.”