Hoke to Speak With Clark, Ojemudia to Start

Michigan coach Brady Hoke says he plans to speak with Frank Clark, others stepping in in his place Saturday against Maryland including Mario Ojemudia.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan will be without the services of senior defensive end Frank Clark over the Wolverines final two games of the 2014 season.

Dismissed from the team following his arrest on suspected domestic violence over the weekend, and subsequent charges for misdemeanor assault and domestic violence in the first degree, Brady Hoke made what he called the “right decision” Monday.

How the legal process will play out remains to be seen for Clark but after reportedly posting bond -- which was set at $3,000 -- and walking free, Hoke did say he plans to communicate with his now former student-athlete at some point.

“I have not spoken to Frank yet,” Hoke said Monday. “I’ll talk to him sometime, there’s no question about it and I look forward to talking to him.”

Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison offered a similar sentiment when asked about the situation, stating he feels disappointed in Clark and obviously sad for those involved.

“You never give up on your guys,” Mattison said. “You don’t ever condone, you don’t ever. “From day one in our meetings Coach Hoke does a tremendous job of explaining what is never tolerable and goes right on and he does it all the time with our players.”

Now forced to miss out on Saturday’s pregame senior day festivities as Michigan prepares to host Maryland, the absence of Clark will be felt on the field just as much as off.

On that note, Brady Hoke announced a few moves that will take place in practice in order to replace some of Clark’s production this season.

Clark has accounted for 42 tackles this season to go with 13.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

Redshirt sophomore Mario Ojemudia will start in place of Clark while sophomore Taco Charlton will slide over and rotate in as well. In addition, redshirt freshman Henry Poggi will backup senior Brennen Beyer on the strong side.

“The good news is those guys up front, I thin you all agree, you’ve watched them; I think they’ve all improved,” Mattison said. “They were recruited to be heading where they are right now. That’s what that was about.

“Those were young pups that played last year, they were really young two years ago when they played. They’ve got a lot of experience and we haven’t changed the scheme that much so those guys right now should be able to slip into another position and be able to do what you’re doing. And that’s what you have.

“You’ve got a Henry Poggi who’s really looked good at times in practice and it’s time for him. Taco, we all know Taco has made some really good plays in his career. Mario is, if you really focus, Mario has done some unbelievable things this year already.”

Ojemudia is coming off his biggest game of the year in a win over Northwestern, tallying four tackles and two sacks. Charlton is responsible for 2.5 sacks over 10 games in reserve duty, while Poggi has one tackle in five appearances this season.

A couple of Michigan’s other seniors, middle linebacker Jake Ryan and quarterback Devin Gardner, were also asked about the Clark situation Monday, sticking with the word “disappointing” to describe what has transpired.

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