Clark Headed to Iowa

Trace Clark has been a busy person this fall, getting out to a different college campus just about every weekend. The '12 Kansas DE talked about what he's seen and his upcoming trip to Iowa in this recruiting update.

At the end of the recruiting process, no one will be able to say Trace Clark didn't do his homework. The Class of 2012 Kansas defensive end is being thorough, to say the least.

Clark unofficially visited all of the schools in his Top 7 in the spring and summer. Now, he's been making the rounds again to see games at those colleges.

"I think things are going very well," the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Wichita Collegiate School product said. "I've been blessed with the opportunity to see all of these schools. Right now, I'm really just trying to get out and see a game at each school.

"I saw the campuses and talked to the academic people (on the unofficials). Now, I'm trying to see a little bit more of the football side. I want to see the atmosphere in the stadiums and just enjoy myself."

Clark spent Saturday at Oklahoma State, watching the Cowboys dismantle Kansas, 70-28. It was an unofficial visit.

Oklahoma State, Kansas and Kansas State have received unofficial visits during game weeks from Clark this season. He used his first official at Purdue on Sept. 24. He has scheduled officials to Iowa (Oct. 15) and Stanford (Oct. 22). He hasn't yet set anything up for his Oregon official.

Clark will have one official left to use if he chooses after seeing Purdue, Iowa, Stanford and Oregon. He's undecided if he'll use it. If he does, it will be to Oklahoma State, Kansas or Kansas State.

"I'm just taking some looks," Clark said. "I don't know right now. I know I've been able to get out there and see games. That was one thing that was important to me. I'm going to take this next one to Iowa and then Stanford and see where we go from there."

Clark said he's interested to see the player interaction with coaches on game day. Most importantly, he wants to get a sense of the atmosphere and traditions at the schools.

"At Oklahoma State, they did a walk through campus," Clark said. "The crowd was excited for everyone out there. I really enjoyed that.

"Kansas was the first game that I went to this season. I enjoyed myself there. They did the whole Waving the Wheat thing. That was fun. I got to go into the locker room after the game and listen to the excitement from the coaches and players."

Clark said he also was impressed in seeing Kansas State roll over Kent State and hit it off with Boilermaker players on his trip to West Lafayette.

"When I went to Purdue, that was an official, so I got to hang out with some of the players after the game," he said. "We just talked and played some XBox. I really enjoyed it."

Clark is looking forward to seeing the game day atmosphere at Iowa's Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes play under the lights against Northwestern.

"I've never been to a game out there," Clark said. "When I was out there, I just saw the campus. I'm really excited to actually get out and see a game."

Clark said he has built up a good relationship with the Iowa coaches during the recruiting process

"It's been one call a week and letters," he said. "I've been talking to Coach (Kirk) Ferentz, lately, mostly on those calls. I talk to Coach (Eric) Johnson every once in a while. I talked to Coach (Rick) Kaczenski a couple of times during the season. It's pretty consistent."

Clark said he does not have a timeline for a decision.

"I'm just getting out here, taking these officials and trying to see some games," he said. "We'll see where it goes from there."

Wichita Collegiate School has won its last four games after dropping its first two. Clark has averaged 11 tackles per game and has recorded five sacks on the season.

Football runs in the Clark family. Trace's brother, Zac, helped Oregon reach the national championship game as a senior last season. Their father, Steve, stood out as a Kansas State defensive end in the '70s and played professionally with the New England Patriots.

"They're mostly leaving it up to me," Trace said. "They want what's best for me and to go to a place where I can enjoy myself and get a good education. They've been leaving me to make the decision just with a little bit of help."

Trace, who wants to major in engineering in college, said he doesn't favor any of the schools in his Top 7.

"Right now, they're equal," he said. "I want to give everyone a chance and get out to all the places so I can see the game atmosphere."

Scout.com rates Clark as the 59th best DE in his class nationally. The service ranks him as a three-star prospect on its five-star scale.


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