Trace Clark has busy summer planned

Trace Clark, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound defensive end out of Wichita's Collegiate High School, has started the first wave of his summer trips. The offers started coming in February and currently is up to 14 from Division 1 universities.

"We just got back from Northwestern on a visit," Trace Clark said. "This Saturday is the KU camp, then Sunday I'll be at Iowa State. Then I'm going to camps at Iowa, Minnesota, and Northwestern to compete the first round of visits."

In the next round, Clark heads to the West Coast to see his older brother, Zac Clark, a big contributor for the Oregon Ducks this past season at defensive tackle, graduate from college.

"We'll go and see my brother graduate then fly to Stanford for a camp," Clark said. "Then we'll go back up to Oregon for their four day camp."

Clark plans to attend camps at Purdue and Indiana, and possibly Baylor and Rutgers later in the summer. His spring was equally busy with taking in a Junior Day at Vanderbilt, spring practices at Kansas, and Oklahoma State, and a spring game visit to his father's alma mater, Kansas State.

"It's an excellent program," Clark said of Kansas State. "It was exciting getting to tour the campus and the facilities. We saw some good football played in the game. It turned out to be a close one. Before the game I had a chance to talk with Coach Snyder, Coach [Joe Bob] Clements, and Coach [Mo] Latimore. I was very excited to meet with them and learn more about the program."

Clark turned in a big junior season, his third as a starter, with an All-State selection at both defensive end and offensive tackle. He made 64 tackles, four sacks, forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles, and blocked a kick.

"What helped me this past year the most was improved footwork," Clark stated. "I had a good base underneath me by getting stronger and adding some weight in the off-season. That made me harder to manage in the interior. I improved my first step and explosiveness off the ball. I also played with a better motor following plays until the end."

The Collegiate Spartans went 9-2 on the 2010 season. With a strong nucleus in tact with Clark leading the defensive charge, they are expecting big things in the coming year.

"The ultimate goal is to win a state championship," said Clark. "Personal goals for me are to make first team All-State at defensive end and be a team leader. The main reason we fell short last season is the team lacked strong leadership. This year I plan to step up and lead our team."

Although Clark has family ties to Kansas State and Oregon, he's looking to find the best fit for him. He feels like he'll become closer to knowing his college destination after the summer trips.

"I want to see what all of the campuses look like," said Clark. "I talk to the coaches over the phone, but I want to see them in person so they can tell me face-to-face what their plan is for the program and what they'd do with me in it.

"I'm looking into studying Engineering or Business Finance, and I always look at the colleges. Most important are the people; the coaches, the players the staff. Having a good relationship with them is essential because you're going to be spending the next four or five year with those people."

An outstanding student, Clark reports a GPA of 4.0, and 29 on the ACT and 1800 on the SAT. He was also named 1st team All-State in basketball. Next year, he'll change his number from No. 78 to No. 11 for the Spartans.

From an atletic family his father, Stevan Clark, played for the New England Patriots professionally after Kansas State. His older brother, Zac, was All-Pac 10 hionorable mention as a senior. His older sister, Destiny, played volleyball at Arkansas, and sister, Sadie, currently plays volleyball at Arkansas State.

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