Sam Webb: Can you talk about David Sills game as well and what makes him unique and special and what you’re working on him also.
Steve Clarkson: “David is unique because he has been doing it for such a long time. Obviously being 13 years old and getting his initial scholarship offer – USC. That got him a lot of recognition and also got him a lot of people that were curious and some people who may not have been that fond of him because of a 13-year-old kid getting…you know all those different story lines. I will tell you, if you like Johnny Manziel, he is a taller version of that without the off the field stuff.”
Sam Webb: Obviously you know Greg Biggins really well. He said when he first went to see David, he said, ‘I swear, I didn’t think that this kid would ever be a college quarterback.’ The he said, ‘when I saw him again, he was light years better.’ Where have you seen David grow?
Steve Clarkson: “When he saw him, he was kind of a scrawny kid. Physically, when he was 13, nobody knew how big he was going to be. He is now 6’4”, legit, maybe closing in on 6’5”, but just his muscle mass. If there is a film on him as well, if you see him jumping into three tractor tires, which I think is the equivalent of six feet, standing still he jumps in the middle of them. So they are all stacked up high, so you are talking about a superior athlete with a vertical leap of some 35 inches, a standing broad jump of almost 12 and you are talking about a guy who runs the 40 yard dash, he was clocked electronically at a 4.63, which hand timed, it is going to be low 4.5/high 4.4. That is incredible for a kid that is still going to be a junior this year and will be a senior next year. You are talking about a guy with so much upside. You have to remember, he plays under a bubble. People heard about him forever, expectations for him have been very, very high. So it is always tough to please everybody, but he has managed to do that and the competition – the schools that they’ve played have been some of the best schools in the country and they are a fairly young school. When you look at what he brings to the table, he obviously has that ‘it’ factor. His ability to lead, his understanding of the game are really quite superior.”
Sam Webb: They say he is the fastest kid on Eastern Christian Academy’s team and they have some very talented guys. So what you are saying is we should believe that?
Steve Clarkson: “Oh there is no question. I’ve been blessed to work with (Wilton Speight and David) who I think are going to be Sunday players, doing it slightly differently, but they are both very similar, but the thing that makes them both very special is that they are two of the greatest kids that you would ever want to be around.”
Sam Webb: I don’t know if you’ve had an opportunity to talk to David or his dad about this, but do you think that Michigan is a school that they are seriously considering?
Steve Clarkson: “I would say they are honored to have gotten that offer. Brady Hoke, his staff have made it known that David is somebody that is not a gimmick for them… that they really think he can help their program. They obviously understand that he and Wilton are close. From David’s standpoint, he takes it seriously. It is not something that he would say, no he wouldn’t do. It certainly is a place that he will look at very strongly and may still visit as well. A couple of years ago you maybe don’t say that, but USC has had a coaching change. They’ve recommitted to him, the new staff, but at the same token he has never gone through the process and now you have other schools that have since offered… and they get it. When this process first started, David was full of that ‘pro style quarterback’ because he was going to USC and that’s what Lane Kiffin did. What they didn’t know was that he was actually a freak at this position and so when there became some doubt as to who the USC coach was going to be, they sort of had to reinvent the kid on the fly. (ECA) said, we’d better put in some zone read stuff and let people know that this is an athlete and that’s what you would see as well. With that came a whole different sort of recruiting. So some of the stuff that Greg Biggins was talking about was that… because (Greg) had no idea that (David) possessed those type of skills and that says a lot.”
Sam Webb: I posed the question about what the next step is for Wilton, but what is the next step for David, a guy who has been working with you for so long, where is his growth going to be?
Steve Clarkson: “Again, I think he continues to evolve in his positioning. We are going to continue to work on getting him bigger and stronger. He is still growing. He is still a puppy in that regard. He weighs about 190-195 pounds. He’ll probably this time next year will be closer to 210-215. Eventually when he gets in a good college weight room, this is a kid that will probably play at 225-230 and he’ll have the frame to do so. When he first started that may have been in question, but because he has grown to his expectation. Originally, the doctor said he could get up to 6’5”. He is about 6’4” now. You can see him probably hitting that plateau at 6’5”.”