In-season visits have led four-star offensive tackle Micah Clark to crown a pair of schools his co-favorites.
“North Carolina and Penn State are sticking out right now,” Clark said. “I like the atmosphere – I feel at home at both. And I like what they have to offer academic-wise – they both have great business programs.”
For most 2017 recruits, being a co-favorite at this stage isn’t too meaningful. But for Clark, a 6-foot-5, 260-pounder from Holmdel (N.J.) St. John-Vianney, it’s significant. He would like to make a verbal commitment on Jan. 12, his birthday. He acknowledges that imminence might force a change to his birthday announcement plans, but stresses his desire to commit sooner rather than later.
Nearly 30 schools have offered Clark, including Alabama, Auburn, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Michigan, Michigan State, UNC, Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers. A very small portion of those schools have received visits from him. UNC found its way into that elite group via its business school.
“I looked into the school and its business school is great,” Clark said. “It’s one of the best ones in the country and that’s what I want to major in. If football doesn’t work out, I’ll still have that college degree from North Carolina in business.”
Clark visited UNC this past Saturday for its 59-21 victory over Miami.
“The visit was awesome,” Clark said. “The atmosphere there was phenomenal. The people there were so friendly. I felt the love.
“My brother was down there on his visit too, my family came along, and my cousins met us down there. And they all loved it. They all felt as if they were all living down there.”
Prior to kickoff, Clark met with Larry Fedora for nearly 30 minutes, which is long for a pregame meeting.
“He took the time out of his day to talk with us and that meant a lot to me,” Clark said. “He talked about not just football, but how the academics are tied in. He said there’s bigtime football there and plus the academics are going to set you up for life.”
Clark also conversed with Chris Kapilovic. Kapilovic, who coaches UNC’s offensive line, has taken command of Clark’s recruitment.
“His message was he works with the linemen every day,” Clark said. “I see how his hard work pays off with their play. Their linemen have been ACC lineman of the week. That to me is a big thing – he knows how to get his linemen built up for the next level.”
Kapilovic sees Clark capable of playing tackle on either side of the line. For St. John-Vianney, Clark anchors the offensive line at right tackle.
Besides UNC, Clark has visited Penn State and Virginia Tech this season. He’s scheduled to return to Happy Valley this Saturday when the Nittany Lions host Michigan.
Before making his decision – whenever that might be – Clark figures to return to UNC for a more in-depth visit.
“Me and my family have already started thinking about making a return visit to North Carolina,” Clark said. “I don’t know when at this moment, but I know we definitely are.”