Collins HS Defensive Lineman Corey Clark

[Premium article] Gene's Page interviewed Corey Clark, a defensive lineman who plays for Collins (MS) High School, April 2nd. Corey, selected to The Clarion-Ledger's All-State second team as a junior, is considered one of the top defensive linemen in the state of Mississippi and possibly the Southeast.

Corey, I've talked to your coach, Bruce Merchant, about you. He listed you at 6-2, 280 with 4.8 forty speed. Is that still correct?
"Yes sir, except for the weight; I am 295 now."

Did you maintain your speed after adding 15 pounds?
"Yes sir."

I've got you listed as a defensive lineman. Is that correct?
"Yes sir."

Do you play any other positions?
"No sir."

What do you think are your strengths as a football player?
"I believe I have pretty good feet, although I want to get a little faster. I work hard in the weight room. I don't let things get in the way of my weight-lifting. I lift weights just about everyday, two times a day at school and at home."

Lifting weights so much, you must be pretty strong. What is your bench and squat?
"I bench 370 and squat 525."

You bench 370 and you are only in the 11th grade. That is amazing. How old are you?
"18 years old."

Do you also deadlift or power clean?
"We do a power clean. I think I did 345 on it."

We talked about your strengths as a player. What do you think you need to improve on?
"On passing plays I know I need to improve on my pass-rush techniques."

What are your personal goals for next season?
"First of all, I would like to win first team All-State. I would also like to go to a big college. I also want to play hard and not get hurt."

What are some of your team goals?
"I want to go back to State and win it all again." [His team won the State championship in their classification last season.-Gene]

Did your team lose many seniors from last year's team?
"We lost 15 seniors but only 9 of them started."

Did you attend any college camps last summer?
"Jones County Junior College."

Do you plan on attending any camps this summer?
"As many as possible. I know that I am going to Mississippi State, probably JC (Jones County JC), LSU, USM and Auburn."

Did you attend any college football games last season?
"No sir."

Have you attended any college Junior Days this spring?
"No sir."

Do you plan on attending any college spring football games?
"No sir. Most of them are at the same time as the ACT testing." [MSU and Ole Miss have their spring games April 6th, the same time as the ACT test.-Gene]

Did you grown up a fan of any particular college football team?
"Not really college."

Based on how you said that, I get the feeling that you are a fan of a pro team?
"Yes sir, the (Philadelphia) Eagles."

Why the Philadelphia Eagles?
"My cousin, Correll Buckhalter, plays with them." [Correll, who like Corey also played for Collins HS, played for Nebraska in college.]

What schools are sending you letters?
"LSU, Auburn, USM, Mississippi State, Oregon, Illinois, Notre Dame, Ole Miss and a lot of others."

Are you interested in certain schools over the other schools?
"Right now, Mississippi State, Oregon and LSU."

What do you like about each of those schools?
"I'm thinking about Oregon because I'm thinking about leaving Mississippi. I have always wanted to go to Mississippi State because most of my family went there. I like LSU because of the things they said about the school in their letter. It sounds like a good school, academically."

Thanks for your time, Corey
"Yes sir."

Additional Corey Clark Information:
  • I talked to Corey's coach, Bruce Merchant. He told me that Corey is "a three-year starter" and is "a definite Blue Chip," prospect. He also told me that Corey already has scholarship offers.
  • Corey was selected to The Clarion-Ledger's Top 50 Junior list, one of just three defensive linemen to make the list.
  • Corey is an excellent student who will have no problem qualifying.

    Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi high school sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at

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