Sackmaster's stock poised for sharp rise?

OREGON STATE is recruiting the hardest a 6-4, 220 pound sack machine out of Arizona -- the defensive end prospect logging 31 sacks his sophomore and junior seasons, along with a bevy of postseason accolades. While the Beavers have made their interest known, neither they nor anyone else has yet offered a scholarship. But there's a couple reasons for that, and it might be about to change shortly.

Namely, schools have been waiting on the junior tape of Clint Gladden, which he just sent out late last week. There's also the fact he's from Buckeye, only about 35 miles west of Phoenix, but a still smaller, agricultural town that isn't necessarily a well-traveled hot spot of college recruiters.

As schools receive the tape and the recruiting year moves into the May evaluation period, it won't be a shock if Gladden sees his recruiting stock take a sharp upward turn given the level of interest he's already seeing from OSU and ASU.

Oregon State, ASU, Arizona, Illinois, UNLV and Colorado have been among those expressing early interest. The Beavers are recruiting the hardest, but the text messages, phone conversations and unofficial visits with others are also regular and frequent.

"Oregon State is probably (recruiting me) the most but ASU and Colorado are right behind them...(Mike Cavanaugh) is a really down to earth guy. It sounds like he's really interested. If the rest of their coaching staff is the same, I'd love to play at a place like that with coaches like that," said Gladden.

Gladden has the chance to sit down and talk face to face with ASU's coaches, including Dennis Erickson and d-line coach Dan Cozzetto.

"I really like the staff at ASU and I was kind of nervous about that going in there, because I had met Koetter and some of his staff and I was worried about how this new staff would be. But as a whole, there wasn't one coach that I got to talk to that I didn't enjoy, I liked them all. They seem all about business," said Gladden.

Gladden says he has no leaders and is open to everyone.

HIS CAMP SCHEDULE will likely see Gladden in Corvallis later this summer.

"I'm planning on going to ASU's camp and then probably Oregon State," said Gladden. "And then the NIKE camp, and the Stump Mitchell camp in Georgia."

Gladden has loads of speed off the edge and a great set of hands he uses to neutralize o-linemen. Schools have told him they'd like to see him add some weight and further develop his skills as a run stopper. In the past, putting on weight has been difficult because of the wrestling season.

Gladden is also an accomplished grappler, taking home the state title his junior year after placing fourth in states as a sophomore. He cut down to 171 his sophomore year, the thinking being that the low weight class would improve his chances for taking home the state title.

But coming off, he weighed 205 pounds. His junior year when he did take the state title, he competed at 215 pounds.

"That was not a good idea," said Gladden of shedding 30-plus pounds as a sophomore to make the 171-pound class. "I would have ended up better at 189. I'm just now starting to get back all my weight."

Distance won't be much of a factor in his decision making process, said Gladden, who isn't in any hurry and hopes to visit all the schools he's interested in. In the meantime, he's making regular phone calls to Oregon State and others.

"I've had the chance to speak a lot with coach Cavanaugh. I really like him and I'm trying to find a time when I can go up and visit and find out what their program is all about," said Gladden.

The new staff at Arizona State has also been getting to know Gladden, with the defensive end taking unofficial trips to the Tempe campus the last three weekends. A trip to Illinois is scheduled for this week.

GLADDEN LED THE state in sacks as a sophomore with 17 and was named the region's defensive player of the year. He followed that up with a 63 tackle, 14 sack junior campaign, forcing three fumbles, recovering a pair and logging untold quarterback hurries.

Gladden is spending most of his spare time lifting this offseason, and also participates in 4H, raises and shows swine, and works in the family business. One of his award winners might have done okay out on the gridiron.

"Pretty much like a big football player, stocky broad shoulders and tons of muscle packed on him," laughed Gladden. "They can move. Stable on their feet. And then I work on our family farm and dairy when I have free time and when I'm not lifting. I have bucked hay but it just depends on if my dad is in a good mood or if he wants to hand me a shovel and have me dig holes all day for no reason," he joked.

Gladden, an honors classes student, will take the SAT and ACT later this summer.

Clint Gladden


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