"I believe I have progressed. I believe there is lot of work to do as well. That's why I'm coming next year," Clark said, as Michigan prepares to take on Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl this Saturday.
Clark, who has 4 1/2 sacks and 12 tackles for loss through Michigan's first 12 games, made the decision after talking with family, coaches and teammates. He also checked to see where his draft rating would be for the NFL Draft.
"I put in my name for the draft grade, of course. I mean, so do a lot of other players," Clark said.
"It was fairly decent. My coaches didn't want me to talk about that too much. … Everything, I guess, came back as I expected it to."
At 6-foot-2, 273-pounds, Clark could easily be playing on Sunday's next fall, but he said the opportunity to play his friends and teammates for one more season was too much to give up.
"My teammates, I love these guys to death," Clark said. "There are no other people I would rather be around then these guys. Of course, my family, but these guys are like my family. When you're around them 16-17 hours throughout your whole day – it's nothing better than that. You know, you build that bond and that family type atmosphere with these guys."
While Clark looked to his coaches, teammates and friends for advice, it was his aunt, who also has two degrees of her own, who convinced him to come back for one more season -- with a goal in mind.
"Just get your degree," Clark said. "The first thing I want to do is make her happy. Being a woman who has been in my life since I moved to Ohio. Basically, I just want to make her happy."
Now with his decision behind him, Clark says he focused on closing out the 2013 season strong and is already looking forward to being more of leader for "Team 135."
"My goal next year is to be a leader on this team," Clark said. "I was looked as one this year. But next year I want to take it to another level. I want to change the whole team, the whole attitude as a team. I want to play as a family."